Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Greater Tennessee Chapter News & Updates

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Demand for Skilled Labor Creates Opening for EdTech Leaders

Roughly 20.5 million students attended American colleges and universities in the fall of 2016, marking an annual increase of about 5.2 million since 2000. This surge, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics1, comes alongside seemingly endless escalations of tuition expenses and a mounting student loan debt crisis2, which Forbes notes is now the second-highest consumer debt category. Between 2011-2012 and 2016-2017, published tuition and fee prices rose by roughly nine percent in the public four-year sector and 13 percent at private nonprofit four-year institutions, according to The College Board3. ProBility Media Corp. (OTC: PBYA) (PBYA Profile) is providing an alternative to the expenses of traditional colleges with a selection of career training and advancement programs aimed at capitalizing on rising demand for skilled workers. Along with competitors such as IHS Markit Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFO), TrueBlue, Inc. (NYSE: TBI), GP Strategies Corp. (NYSE: GPX) and Aspen Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASPU), ProBility is working to address the skilled labor shortage that's threatening to stunt the forward growth of the U.S. economy.

A 2017 report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce4 gives additional insight into the rising demand for skilled labor across the country. Among those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce, roughly two-thirds of employers said that they'll be hiring new employees over the next month, but approximately 95 percent noted difficulty in finding skilled workers for their existing job openings in the second quarter of 2017. This dearth of eligible applicants comes as the Trump administration seeks to make good on its promise to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure5 in the U.S. Bob Pitts, senior policy advisor for the Associated Builders and Contractors Greater Tennessee Chapter, summed up the issue in an interview with the Memphis Daily News6. "The economy has gotten stronger, the demand for construction and new building has expanded significantly and it doesn't show any signs of declining," Pitts stated. "It's going to take additional people that the industry does not have to meet the demands of the next couple of decades."

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