The Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, an initiative of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, has partnered with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to develop new a research report, Greater Washington Works: IT and Health Careers with Promise, released today. The report focuses on how our region can address the skills gap and lift more of our neighbors out of poverty through careers in IT and Healthcare.
With over 70% of net new jobs requiring post-secondary education and training, the Washington regional economy continues to be highly knowledge-based. Local employers, however, face challenges in finding skilled workers. Nearly 800,000 individuals in our region have no education past high school, highlighting a skills gap that has the potential to undermine our region's global economic competitiveness.
Further, while it is encouraging that our regional unemployment rate has improved to pre-Great Recession levels, many of our neighbors are still struggling to make ends meet. Our region can count 100,000 additional residents living below the Federal poverty level since 2009. African American or Latino workers in the region are three times more likely to earn an income below the poverty level. Addressing our region's race, ethnicity, and gender-based income inequality is a critical challenge for our region to tackle if we want to ensure that all in our region have a fair shot for prosperity.