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ACT, Inc. Publishes New Data Profiling the Future Workforce in 31 States

Online Tools Reveal Career Interests and Skills Preparation in Each State’s Workforce Pipeline for High Growth Career Fields

September 2 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT announced today that it has made available on its website for the first time, a profile of the future workforce in each of 31 states. This data was gathered using 2008 ACT results for high school graduates in each state, compared to long-term occupational projections provided by the state. Data is also presented to indicate the performance of graduating high school students from each state on ACT’s College Readiness Benchmarks in English, Reading, Math and Science for each state’s five highest growth career fields. A separate but related online tool allows comparisons of any two states on key performance data.

The Future State Workforce Gap Summary is designed to provide states with information on their workforce pipeline as it pertains to high growth jobs that require a two-year college degree or more. Summaries are available for the 31 states (see list below) that met both of the required criteria: 25 percent or more of their 2008 graduates were ACT-tested, and at least 100 students expressed interest in the state’s highest growth career fields. In the case of many states, the reports reveal situations where there may exist a gap—or a surplus—between expected jobs and the number of students indicating interest in those career fields.

Long-term projections of employment from each state were used to determine the projected highest growth career fields based on job growth and job replacement in each state’s workforce summary. Two charts are presented in each profile: the percent of projected job openings compared to the percent of student interest by career field, and the college readiness of high school students interested in these five high growth career fields by subject. Recommendations for educators in each state are also included.

The states meeting the criteria for a Workforce Gap Summary include:

Alabama
Arkansas
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Martin Scaglione, president and chief operating officer of ACT’s Workforce Development Division stated, “Educators, employers, as well as workforce and economic development officials, can gain a more focused perspective on how well the interests of students in the educational pipeline align with the demands of high growth jobs in that state. These profiles help present a view of the employees of tomorrow and how well their interests are aligning with future needs of the workforce.”

Another new feature on ACT’s website is a tool to compare selected data in various combinations in two states. For instance, a biochemical firm located near a state line could search the data for two states as to the ACT test scores and/or benchmark percentages for Math and Science to see how each state performed compared to each other and the national average. The data could be used to help guide recruitment of the better prepared employees. Subgroups may also be selected as variables including gender and ethnic/racial groups.