Education Advocacy Group says Lack of College Degrees Keeps Workers Jobless

WASHINGTON (AP) – Experts say hundreds of thousands of job openings are going unfilled, for a lack of qualified workers. The Lumina Foundation for Education says too many applicants come up short on the education, training and higher skills needed for today’s jobs. Lumina’s Jamie Merisotis (mehr-ih-SOH’-tihs) says only 38 percent of Americans have a college degree, and that needs to grow. Merisotis says the U.S. is losing ground to other developed countries, and will lose its competitive edge unless it recommits to advancing educational attainment. Lumina has set a goal of raising the percentage of Americans with a college degree to 60 percent by 2025. However, its latest progress report says the percentage rose just four-tenths of a percent in two years, from 37.9 percent in 2008 to 38.3 percent in 2010. A key factor is the rising cost of college. Merisotis says higher education must be a priority, and budget slashers should look elsewhere. In his words, “College is not nice, it’s necessary.”

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