Facts and Figures

What is the “skills gap?”
The skills gap is what we call the difference between the skills a worker possesses and the skills they need to perform a certain job.

In the United States, 53 percent of all jobs are “middle-skill” jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. Plumbers, HVAC specialists, manufacturers, and medical technicians are all examples of these kinds of occupations. However, only 43 percent of workers are trained to the middle-skill level, demonstrating the need for technical training programs that close the skills gap and prepare students for high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand career fields.

CTE is an opportunity for students to learn core academic, employability, technical, and job-specific skills while gaining invaluable hands-on experience. 


Why career and technical education?
An estimated 29% of the current construction workforce will retire by 2026, resulting in a shortage of one million craft professionals in the construction industry.

In 2021, 69 percent of companies reported difficulty hiring ­– a 15-year high. Employers are struggling to find and retain qualified applicants.

More than 80 percent of manufacturers report that talent shortages impact their ability to meet customer demand. 

In 2020-2021, there were over 12.3 million students enrolled in CTE programs across the country.