LPOSD recently sent out 18,000 mailers, commissioned an online survey, and held several “stakeholder engagement” meetings to determine its priorities for the next five years.
Many of us wonder why this sudden, monumental effort by administrators with six-figure salaries to get input and ideas from the public. They’re paid to know what’s required to prepare kids for success in life. We certainly do: focus on the skills that are needed in our economy at this time and teach our children accordingly.
The Idaho Labor Department and newspaper articles provide ongoing information on where the skills are lacking and are desperately needed. Many fields have been, and continue to go, begging for skilled employees but can’t find them.
Last month the Associated Press reported that in Idaho, many thousands of skilled jobs go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers. 7,000 of those are in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). These unfilled jobs represent a huge drag on the Idaho economy.
Last spring the Idaho Labor Department reported a shortage of employees in many fields, from truck drivers to health care workers right up to surgeons.
And last month, it projected a shortfall of 49,000 skilled workers by 2024, about half of which could be filled by people with less than a four-year degree.
So, LPOSD, if you’re looking for a 5-year strategic plan, there’s a hint.
Let’s not waste time with mailers and meetings and get busy doing something constructive.