workforce development, wia, skills gap
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Workforce Development Position
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An educated and well-trained workforce is of paramount importance to sustain and grow our economy. Despite our ongoing economic recovery, employers, particularly those in hard industry, continue to have difficulty finding suitable candidates to fill open positions. The skills gap in the United States is an impediment to the growth of many industries and companies. Due to the necessity of a skilled workforce to the mining sector, the Industrial Minerals Association – North America (IMA-NA) supports proactive measures directed at closing the skills gap.

Addressing the skills gap requires concentrating on strengthening the building blocks of reading, math, and science in addition to providing opportunities to gain skill sets outside the traditional liberal arts curriculum.  Federal, state and local education initiatives and programs should be coordinated and developed into a comprehensive learning continuum. By aligning education, certifications and specific skill training the field of qualified individuals should grow rapidly. Initiatives such as ongoing education and apprenticeships are another component to adding to and maintaining a highly trained workforce.  The requirements to the meet the workforce needs therefore depend on a cooperative partnership between educational institutions, the government, and the business community.

IMA-NA is supportive of legislation aimed at developing the workforce in the United States, including the funding of programs focused on career and technical training.  Investment in technical training is an investment in industry’s ability to continue to thrive and grow. IMA-NA will continue to promote education initiatives that benefit the industrial minerals community as well as our national community as they emerge.