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In RI, The More Things Change . . .

In the early '90s, Rhode Island was hard hit by the state banking crisis and subsequent cuts to social programs under Bruce Sundlun. Now, because of a big deficit and growing state spending, Rhode Island is again facing painful cuts. Meanwhile, although Governor Carcieri has won plaudits for placing greater emphasis on adult education, the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council this morning offered more bad economic news for the state.

An Education and Workforce Scorecard released by the council has found:

that the state needs to focus its efforts on adult education to avoid stagnating income growth and polarization. The scorecard notes a shift in the skills workers need to create value and get ahead. All sectors of the economy, including retail and personal services are increasingly demanding education and complex communication and problem solving skills. The scorecard shows that Rhode Island’s economy and workforce are moving in opposite directions [my emphasis]. The demand for college educated workers is rising, while the number of working-age Rhode Islanders with college degrees is projected to decline.  Further analysis shows: 142,000 adults lack a high school diploma and an additional 35,500 have limited English proficiency.

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