This article from the New York Times points to some important issues that we have been working on in recent years – the needs of adults over 65, and the skills gap faced by many adults in Pennsylvania. As the article notes, retired adults are going back to work to make up for their lost income, and many are attending community college to learn new skills for the workforce.
In Pennsylvania, community colleges play a critical role in giving workers of all ages the opportunity to earn the skills they need to find and hold well-paying jobs. Most of Pennsylvania’s workforce (adults 25 and older) finished their education with a high school degree or less. Unfortunately, most of Pennsylvania’s jobs, both now and in the future, require some additional skills (though not a college degree).
Community colleges should be the ideal places for adult workers to gain the skills they need. Many of Pennsylvania’s community colleges offer free schooling for displaced workers, which is a great place to start. However, Pennsylvania’s community college consistently rank among the most expensive in the country, which becomes even more of a problem during this recession. For more on community colleges, look for a new report from PathWays PA to be released in the next week or two.