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Episode 275 of 399

What keeps Harrison Keller up at night

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station description Official podcast for the Rio Grande Guardian, the first online newspaper to launch ... read more
Rio Grande Guardian's Podcast
Duration: 31:06
MCALLEN, Texas - The commissioner for higher education in Texas has admitted that the challenge of getting Texans the skills they need for today’s jobs is keeping him up at night.Harrison Keller spoke in depth about the impact the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent recession has had on higher e
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MCALLEN, Texas - The commissioner for higher education in Texas has admitted that the challenge of getting Texans the skills they need for today’s jobs is keeping him up at night.Harrison Keller spoke in depth about the impact the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent recession has had on higher education and workforce training at a breakfast gathering hosted recently by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.“Let me share some of what is keeping me up at night. How we move forward on this is going to depend on how we work our way through three key dilemmas. First, one of the most striking things to me about the recession we’ve experienced is how strong the correlation is between unemployment and educational attainment,” Keller said.“So, right now, we can see that Texas workers that have bachelor’s degrees are not back to where they were pre-pandemic but they are actually really close. Folks who don’t have any kind of post-secondary education beyond high school have experienced a much deeper and a much more sustained recession.”Keller said the data “looks even worse” when broken down by geography and demographics. “So, in particular there is a strong correlation between lower educational attainment rates for our Hispanic populations, for our Hispanic communities, and for our black communities and high unemployment. Of course, the same communities have been hit especially hard by Covid-19. So, this recession is the most inequitable that we have seen since this data has been tracked.”Keller then spoke about the second thing that keeps him up at night.Editor's Note: To read the full story please go to the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service website.
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