The A+ Solution: How America's Professional Societies and Trade Associations Can Solve the Nation's Workforce Skills Crisis
Millions of Americans remain unemployed, but on average three million jobs go unfilled because employers cannot find workers with the skills and experience they need. In addition, over 800,000 people aren't counted in monthly unemployment reports because they have given up looking for jobs. Addressing the skills gap and getting people back to work through workforce development programs is – and has long been – a national priority. Yet far too frequently, current efforts fail for multiple reasons – from inconsistent funding and one-shot training programs to an over-reliance on local programs to solve a national problem.
Professional associations are on standby and ready to train, educate, and motivate workers across career fields and industries to take charge of their own careers. The A+ Solution makes the case for how and why 70,000 professional societies and trade associations are perfectly positioned to train and support our workforce with proven expertise at minimal cost. From industry-based expertise and knowledge communities to certifications and continuing education programs, associations offer unparalleled resources to provide individuals and employers with long-term training solutions. Yet, current legislation limits associations from active participation in workforce training at the state and local level. The A + Solution provides a compelling argument for what associations offer – and the changes needed to take wider advantage of their programs and services.