This is the conclusion of Sharon Burton’s two-part series on helping middle-skilled workers find a new start in the knowledge economy. In the first part, Burton discussed the changing nature of the American economy, and how the movement toward a technology-driven workforce means individuals need to upgrade their skills to find work and to stay current in their jobs. She then outlined some of the characteristics of a middle-skilled worker. In this article, she sheds light on some of the pathways these workers can take to finding work in the new economy. The key focus is that educational training should directly focus on job readiness.
As the American economy becomes more knowledge-based and technology-driven, employees who formerly occupied middle-skilled jobs need to gain new competencies to find new work. Technology has been driving significant changes in the American workforce over the past few decades. Employers have placed higher premiums, salaries and benefits on educated workers due to the increasing demand for skilled workers to navigate complex technologies, transformations in the organization of the economy and a developing global marketplace. Consequently, these changes demand a review and analysis of needed changes in securing a position in the job market.