Thousands of high-wage jobs in Idaho are going unfilled each year, and education officials say the problem will only get worse if something isn’t done to expand STEM and career-technical opportunities.
In a presentation to the joint budget committee Wednesday, STEM Action Center Director Angela Hemingway said 7,000 science, technology, engineering and math jobs went unfilled in Idaho in 2017, double the number from the year before.
“That represents a huge drag on Idaho’s economy,” she said. The combined annual salary for the positions amounted to $450 million, which would have generated about $24 million in state tax revenues.
Based on current graduation rates, Hemingway said, the number of unfilled STEM jobs — jobs that require some level of post-secondary training in science, technology, engineering or math — could increase to 36,000 by 2024.
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