The U.S. has fallen behind other wealthy countries in developing its workforce, leading to many jobs critical to maintaining the chain of supply unfilled due to a lack of necessary training.

A Politico analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development determined that the U.S. spent just .03% of its GDP on training workers before the COVID-19 pandemic, less than the average of nations in the study at .10%, and far less than .18% spent by Germany and .26% spent by France.

“We have let our workforce strategy atrophy, because we thought it was just going to be the engineers — the graduate-degree holders — that were going to solve our competitiveness posture,” said Andy Van Kleunen, chief executive of the National Skills Coalition, a nonprofit that advocates for worker training. “We need to be investing in folks at all layers of our workforce if we’re going to be actually able to pull this off.”

“This is a crisis point,” Scott Solberg, professor at Boston University and vice president of research for the Coalition for Career Development Center, told Politico. “We have to have a national conversation about how we’re going to elevate career readiness, because it’s all about economic competitiveness.”

Politico notes that in March, there were two jobs available for every worker looking for one, but many of those workers lacked the training for jobs available in sectors like trucking, manufacturing, and others.

“Industries are having troubles getting workers right now; a lot of that is that they’re not skilled up or are trained to do work in those industries, because they’ve left and gone to other industries,” Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said during a recent public appearance at a Virginia school that trains workers who build ships. “Right now is the time to make sure we continue to make investments in workforce development [and] job training.”

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