Report: Lack Of Vocational And Career Education In California Leads To Severe Skilled Worker Shortage, Billions In Lost Income

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- California's economy needs far more workers with advanced vocational and career training than its colleges and universities can provide, and this skills gap will cost Californians billions in foregone income, a new report has found.

Over the next decade, 2.45 million Californians will be crowded out of college programs that lead to career-oriented degrees, diplomas and professional certificates, the report found. The resulting lack of professional skills will deny California workers entry into many high-paying jobs and cost them more than $50 billion in lost personal income.      

The report, " Left Out, Left Behind: California's Widening Workforce Training Gap," indicates that the state's economy is creating good jobs in fields such as health care and education, but its higher education system cannot produce nearly enough graduates with the skills to fill them.

Statewide, the demand for a community college education in California already exceeds capacity by 591,000 full-time students. In half of California's 58 counties, the gap between demand and supply exceeds 40%. In seven other counties the gap is between 25-40%, and in six more, the gap is between 10-25%.

"This research shows that the skills gap poses a serious threat to the California economy and that the state needs a serious, comprehensive response," said Steven Lindauer, National Director, Education & Workforce Development, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. "Private career colleges can help close this gap by reaching students who would otherwise be left out and left behind in the new economy. Corinthian plans to be part of the solution."

The report was based on research from Encina Advisors, LLC, a Sacramento-based economic consultancy, and was released today at the annual conference of the California Workforce Association, which is composed of the state's local Workforce Investment Boards. The report was commissioned by Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which is based in Santa Ana, CA and is one of the largest higher education organizations in North America. Corinthian's three schools – Everest, Heald, and WyoTech – enroll more than 88,000 students, including about 25,000 in California.

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