August 15, 2022

Advanced education, career development opportunities seen as key to growing state's workforce

Since the pandemic, many Americans are seeking new job opportunities.

Since the pandemic, many Americans are seeking new job opportunities.

Since the pandemic, many Americans are seeking new job opportunities.

Three-quarters of Black and Hispanic employees report the pandemic made them want to focus more on developing new skills, business magazine Fast Company reported. But more than half of the workers said fears of student loan debt have prevented them from pursuing education opportunities.

Kyle Utter, senior regional manager, strategic partnerships at WGU Indiana, said to retain and grow the state’s workforce, corporations and higher education must work together.

“A lot of the employers have kind of looked at what are attractive companies to work for, or industries to work in, and how they can replicate that within their own organization to make it more appealing,” Utter said. “And so, one of those avenues, as always, is learning and development.”

Utter said there's a lot of opportunity for advanced education.

“I think employers kind of again, upping the ante on what they're willing to offer. There are typically many folks who are associated or comfortable with speaking about tuition reimbursement, tuition assistance. That number seems to be going up,“ Utter said.

According to the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 54 percent of workers weren’t offered an increased number of opportunities for learning and development from their employers this past year.

Contact WFYI Morning Edition newscaster and reporter Taylor Bennett at tbennett@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @TaylorB2213.

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