Editor’s note: Joe Magno is Executive Director, the North Carolina Center of Innovation Network.

Joe Magno

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Over the past few months we’ve been hearing more and more about the increasing need for skilled workers from corporations, government, and knowledgeable pundits across the country.  The aging out of older workers, changes in workplace demands due to technology creep, and coordinating employer needs with worker skills are all part of the ongoing conversation.

Recent studies in North Carolina and across the US state that about 40 percent of employers complain that they cannot meet their current manpower needs, and even when they can find skilled workers, over 50% of employers still complain about lack of preparation and the need to provide remedial training and education before even skilled workers can be productive…and we haven’t even mentioned substance abuse or lack of motivation to even find work.

In North Carolina, Governor Cooper and our political leaders, regardless of their political ideology, are also becoming more concerned and engaged.

Last October, when Governor Cooper addressed the North Carolina Business Committee for Education he stated: “When I’m talking to CEOs who are considering expanding or relocating jobs to North Carolina, they want to know if we’ve got the educated workforce that can do the jobs they want to create.  We want to make sure we have the workforce needed to meet those hiring demands”.