Last Mile of Higher Education

July 8, 2016 - 4 minutes read

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bridging Nations Foundation is slated to launch it’s Last Mile of Higher Education monthly seminar on March 5th with one thing in mind–jobs for our college graduates.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates in 2011 was 12.6 percent. “That’s 164,000 college students graduating into unemployment each year,” Bridging Nations said. “And that’s unacceptable.”

The Bridging Nations lecture circuit is aimed at addressing the issue of unemployment among recent college graduates. Hosting an event each month from March to May, Bridging Nations will advocate for collaboration between universities, businesses and government agencies to improve the employment prospects of recent college graduates.

“We’re here to bridge the gap between college graduates and employment,” said Terry Zeng, a research coordinator at Bridging Nations. “There is an information gap between talented, skilled graduates and employers searching for skilled employees. We’re here to work on a bridge.”

Research conducted over the past decade implies that Bridging Nations may be touching on a major issue in our economy. More students are graduating from college with bachelor’s degrees each year, and the number of jobs for college graduates is not increasing at nearly the same rate. In some sectors, the number of jobs for college graduates isn’t increasing at all.

“When the issue first surfaced in the 70’s, we all kind of panicked. Everyone wrote about it, and then the market absorbed the baby boomer college graduates in the 80’s,” explained Ross Lyell, a Bridging Nations researcher. “Then the same thing happened in the mid-90’s. And BLS economists like John Tyler and Frank Levy told us the data merely reflected changes in the job market for young college graduates,” he continued. “But now it’s forty years later. And we need innovative solutions.”

Accordingly, innovative solutions are the main focus of the lecture circuit. Dr. Prakash Ambegaonkar, founder of the Bridging Nations Foundation, has labeled the lecture a solutions-based campaign. He’s indicated the problems are well-known, well-researched and well-published, but his goal is to advocate solutions.

The details for the lecture circuit launch will be released throughout this month according to Rosemary Bundoc, Bridging Nations Planning and Programming Coordinator. She has crowned the circuit a first step in an uphill journey. “We’re ready to collaborate towards results,” she said. “There’s no patience in unemployment, and our college graduates deserve our efforts–day in and day out.”

Rosemary may be spot on about the process being an uphill journey. Though the economy added a total of 1.8 million jobs in 2012, both skilled and unskilled, 1.5 million students graduated with college degrees in the same 12 months. When asked about the numbers, Rosemary quoted Stanford University President, John Hennessy.

“There’s a tsunami coming in higher education,” she said. “We can’t tell you exactly how it’s going to break, but it’s our goal to try and surf it, not to just stand there.”

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