We are nearly 20 years into the 21st century and businesses are no closer to having the 21st century workforce. While generations of students have come of age in an era of upskilling, rapid technological and AI growth, employers, like us, remain frustrated that far too few job applicants have the skills we need for our companies to succeed. Workforce development initiatives that focus on retraining adults who are unemployed or under-employed may address a small part of the problem, that’s only a remedial solution. The common-sense way to ensure that all businesses have a better skilled labor pool is to make sure that students graduate from high school and enter the workforce prepared for today’s careers.

The Greater Philadelphia region, one of the most vibrant places to work and live in the country. Generating 41 percent of the state’s economic activity and home to about a third of the state’s population and businesses, the region powers Pennsylvania’s economy. Yet, if you ask many employers what their number one concern is, the answer is overwhelmingly finding employees with skills to fill their open positions.

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