Nearly 1,500 students graduate from Oceanside Unified School District (OUSD) high schools each year. With diploma in hand they are deemed ready for the next step whether pursuing a postsecondary degree or certificate, starting a job or joining the military. But, are they really prepared to meet the needs of local, regional, and global businesses?
According to the results of 2018 Global Talent Shortage Survey conducted by the Manpower Group, 46% of participating USA companies reported difficulties in finding talent with the skills they need to fill open positions. Currently, only 41% of OUSD’s high school graduates meet California’s college and career readiness standards known as A-G Requirements.
The biggest concerns employers reported included a lack of applicants, job-seekers expecting higher pay than they can offer, and inadequate experience. Furthermore, 27% of employers reported applicants short on necessary hard skills or human strengths. With skills in communicating (written and verbal), collaborating, and problem-solving cited as the most valued human strengths. These “skill and strength gaps” then require employers to ramp up education and training programs for new and retained employees, which ultimately impacts the bottom line.
One solution is for the Oceanside business community to lead the charge in developing skilled talent right here within our city. By forging strong partnerships with schools, colleges, and nonprofit organizations, local businesses can not only influence, but also directly impact how students are being prepared for the workforce.
For example, the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce is a key partner of the Oceanside Promise. The Promise is a community-wide partnership united by a shared vision of every child and young adult reaching their fullest potential in college, career, and life.
Earlier this year, the Oceanside Promise partners launched the Latino Young Men Success Initiative with the goal of better preparing our community’s Latino young men for postsecondary and life success. The need emerged from an analysis of school district and college persistence data which showed Latino young men were lagging their peers in graduating from high school college and career ready and earning college degrees. Furthermore, according to PolicyLink’s National Equity Atlas, there’s a persistent wage gap between North County’s Latino population and other racial/ethinic groups which has social and economic implications for us all.
The Oceanside Promise’s Latino Young Men Success Initiative provides several opportunities for businesses to get involved including:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides these additional recommendations for businesses:
The Oceanside Promise is actively seeking business community partners as mentors, internship and experienceships sites, and sponsors for the Latino Young Men Success Initiative. Partnerships can be customized to meet your needs and those of the students involved. To learn more, visit our website or call.
By Dr. Nicole Magnuson