Because…

 “…employers struggle to fill hundreds of open positions from engineers to blue-collar workers. And there is a growing gap between available jobs and skilled workers to fill those jobs.”  U.S. News & World Report, 2019

“West Virginia has the highest rate in the U.S. of young people between the age of 18 and 24 who are not in school or employed.”   Business Insider, 2018

Because…

  • West Virginia has the highest rate in the U.S. of young people between the age of 18 and 24 who are not in school or employed.  These disconnected youth often lack the skillset needed to attain available work and have a high risk of falling into poverty.
  • West Virginia has the fourth highest poverty level in the U.S., with one in four children living below the poverty line.
  • There is a growing gap between available jobs and skilled workers to fill those jobs.
  • Large employers struggle to fill hundreds of open positions, from engineers to blue collar workers.
  • Middle-skill jobs account for 57% of West Virginia’s labor market, but only 49% of the state’s workers are trained to the middle-skill level.
  • With current trends, it is estimated that in 2024, 51% of the middle-skill jobs and 29% of high-skill jobs will go unfilled in West Virginia.