It was a major promise of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990. Our kids would be better educated for the world of work.
Still, more than 22 years later, the Community Recorder newspaper in Kenton County reports: “Manufacturers struggle to fill jobs.”
And, the article points to education as part of the problem, saying:
“Even with a regional unemployment rate of 7.5 percent for the month of May, manufacturers around Northern Kentucky have high-paying positions that go unfilled because they’re having a hard time finding workers with the skills necessary to do the job.”
However, the article really doesn’t bring out how our under-performing public education system is a major contributor to unfilled manufacturing jobs, so let me add some information.
The latest available data from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education regarding remedial course requirements for recent high school graduates entering the state’s two-year Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s institutions show far too many grads, on average nearly 40 percent, don’t get the education they need from the state’s K to 12 system.
If we really want to open up manufacturing job opportunities for our kids, we have to recognize and remove those K to 12 school system deficiencies that make it very hard for students to get the postsecondary education critical to obtaining those jobs.