Seventy percent of construction companies nationwide are having trouble finding qualified workers. Construction, along with health and personal care, will account for one-third of all new jobs through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, the U.S. Department of Education reports that there will be 68 percent more job openings in infrastructure-related fields in the next five years than there are people training to fill them. In conjunction with the American Graduate Three initiative, WHRV features the return of Educationally Speaking, the series which focuses on local and regional issues which directly affect classrooms in Southeastern Virginia.

American Graduate Three aims to increase awareness and understanding of middle- skilled jobs in our economy. Local educational efforts that address these jobs and pathways to employment will be the focus for this edition of Educationally Speaking. Topics include how local industry leaders are working with school divisions and community colleges to develop programs to help meet the workforce needs. Guests include Former ODU President Jim Koch who offers the annual “State of the Region Report”, ODU Economics Professor Robert McNabb, and Hampton City Schools officials who are preparing to roll out an academy program where every student will be enrolled in a college prep/career path curriculum. Educationally Speaking explores the many pathways available for today’s students to pursue careers that are in high demand and how the need for these skilled workers is reshaping schools.

Educationally Speaking returns June 4 airing weekday Mornings at 11:00 on WHRV. It is produced by Barry Graham, Paul Bibeau and Kathy Martin.