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Job One forum tackles the skills gap

8:36 PM, May 7, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Big names in government and business met in Atlanta Monday to search for a solution to what they're calling the "skills gap" -- the lack of skilled workers for job openings waiting to be filled.

NBC News "Meet the Press" Moderator David Gregory hosted a conversation on the skills gap, Georgia's workforce and the future of the economy with Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Sen. Johnny Isakson and CEOs from some of Atlanta's biggest businesses. They included Lockheed Martin, Georgia Power and Siemens. Gregory was also joined by 11Alive Kids and Schools Reporter Donna Lowry.

The Job One forum was part of Education Nation, a collaboration between NBC News and 11Alive News. The discussion was held at the Georgia Aquarium, the headquarters for this week's Education Nation Atlanta events.

MORE | Complete Education Nation Coverage

At the Education Nation kickoff, Mayor Reed told 11Alive News metro Atlanta's unemployment rate would be closer to 5.5 percent if the workforce had the skills needed for current openings. Instead, unemployment sits at 9 percent.  

John Patterson, chairman of JCB North America, has a unique perspective. Eighteen months ago, his company launched a new line of equipment. He is still struggling to fill 300 positions.

Across the country, an estimated 3 million jobs are currently unfilled because employers cannot find qualified workers.  

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