The challenges and efforts to bridge the employment gap among workers generally are at the lower end of the skills spectrum. But as we've heard during our series this week, employers are reporting the greatest degree of challenge in filling jobs requiring highly specialized skills. Jobs requiring engineering, chemistry, biology, or computer science skills often can't be filled with on-the-job or certificate level training.
And so bridging that end of the skills gap will require a workforce adept in the so-called "STEM" fields - science, technology, engineering, and math. They're fields that have historically been dominated by men. But as the Baby Boomer generation continues to reach retirement age, the demographics of the workforce are changing. But are they changing fast enough?
It was a big enough question that it led the Girl Scouts to undertake a comprehensive study of the attitudes of girls towards the STEM fields. Kamla Modi is a research and outreach analyst with the Girl Scouts of the USA and the Girl Scout Research Institute, and lead author of a study called Generation STEM: What Girls Say About Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. She spoke with Mitch Teich.