Lumina is Closing the Talent Gap…and You Can, Too

Published: November 8, 2017

Families First is grateful for Indiana-based Lumina Foundation, which has been a strong supporter of Families First for nearly twenty years. Lumina recognizes that sometimes we all need a little help in negotiating life’s challenges and changes and staying on track – particularly when those challenges could interrupt something as important as education. More than just a foundation supporting higher education, Lumina has resources of interest to many.

For example, their Talent Investment Studies can support approaches in strategies for employee retention. They also have a whole list of resources on their #TalentTuesday page, including attracting talents of special populations such as veterans and Millennials.

Increasingly, employers are finding it hard to find workers with the skills they need. A recent Manpower Group study found that 40% of employers (42% in the Americas) are struggling to fill jobs. A critical component to meeting the nation’s growing demand for talent is post-secondary education and credentialing, which according to a report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education & the Workforce (Center), will be required by nearly two-thirds of U.S. employers by the year 2020. Further, post-secondary education is becoming a necessity to obtain higher wage jobs. The Center reports that high school graduates considered ‘middle-class’ had dropped from 60% in 1970, to 45% by 2007.

In its most recent strategic plan, Lumina has set out to increase high-quality certificates, post-secondary degrees or other credentials of the U.S. population to 60% by the year 2025. One of the critical priorities to achieve this goal is to re-consider how higher education programs are delivered so that they meet the needs of all students. I was surprised to learn that my assumption about the average college student (as an 18-21-year-old) is wrong. Today’s students are…

• 38% older than age 25 and juggling more than education - 58% are working while enrolled, and 26% are raising children.

• 47% are not financially relying on mom and dad. They’re paying their own bills, and often struggling.

Lumina is inviting every American to have a role in helping to reach Goal 2025, because we all benefit. They’ve developed clear steps to take – for employers, community leaders, educators, partners and students. Each incremental step is necessary for a stronger nation that’s prepared to meet the demands of a global economy. Find out how you can help.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Lumina Foundation, its officers or employees.