For all their differences, both President Obama and Republican Senator Marco Rubio agreed on one thing Tuesday night: the growth of the middle class and economic recovery in this country are intrinsically linked, and higher education and job training offer the keys to the middle class. You've probably heard it before: we need to do a better job in this country of equipping graduates with the skills they need to fill the jobs that are available. At the same time all citizens need to have access to affordable higher education and training.
Research shows that there are about two million jobs in the United States today going begging because Americans don't have the skills needed to fill those jobs. If domestic and multinational corporations are to fill those jobs here in the U.S. rather than moving them overseas, two things will need to be done.
First, colleges and universities must better align the education and training they provide with the skills needed to fuel economic recovery. As the president noted, many of those skills are in science technology engineering and math -- the STEM fields.