Local Businesses, Schools Concerned with Skills Gap

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Bridgewater - If you're looking for a job, local business owners have openings; however, those businesses lack workers with the skills to fill those openings.

Microsoft Office, the ability to work well with others, and mechanical aptitude are skills that local students and business owners say are in high demand these days. It's a problem that Dr. Lou Pugliese said needs to be fixed if our local economy is going to grow, especially when it comes to young people and technology.

"This is the time to learn that, because us older people tend to think you already have that," explained Dr. Pugliese.

Business leaders say young people entering the workforce know how to use a computer. That's not the problem. the issue is they're experts in uploading content to social media and the internet and know relatively little about spread sheets and word documents.

“Now, all the tools are computer interfaced,” added Martin Lightsey, from Cadence, Inc.

He says it's an everyday struggle to fill those jobs, but they agree with the changes that need to be made.

"We would like to be able to better qualifications to start," concluded Lightsey.

Getting people back to work is something that Dr. Pugliese says he works hard for.

"It's just a tremendous personal reward to know that they're going to forward and their life and the world is going to be fine,” the professor concluded.

In the United States, there are more than four million job openings that sit open because of a lack of skills in these areas.

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