Many Ohio business leaders say the shortage of information technology workers is at a crisis level. By the year 2000, 65 percent of Ohio's new jobs will require high tech skills, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that more than 50,000 information technology jobs will be created in Ohio during the next 10 years.
But many of these jobs will remain vacant -- and employment opportunities will be lost -- because of a shortage of skilled workers.
"Information technology has become the leading vehicle of change in our world, and is transforming our economy and our lives at blinding speed," says Ohio Governor Bob Taft.
"If Ohio is going to succeed in this new environment, we must train knowledge workers who can meet high performance standards in technology relevant subjects, such as math, science and computers."
"Across Ohio educators are responding to this challenge and are helping to create a new generation of skilled IT literate workers."
At Cuyahoga Valley Careers Center near Cleveland Ohio they are having great success in recruiting students for Career-based Technology programs, with an aim of filling the IT skills shortage.
In fact they have an average of 17 students applying for every available place.
We spoke to Lin Nugent, Career Pathways Specialist at Cuyahoga Valley, to find out what factors had contributed to this success and to see what the future holds for them.
"We are helping to prepare our students for courses in information technology as well as prepare our teachers to teach them."
"We will have a shortage of IT workers in Ohio this year and we need to help our students fill these jobs. To do this we have installed the IT2000 system in three of our associate schools and we will be developing foundation courses in relation to the ITACS - Information Technology and Academic Core Standards for the state of Ohio."
"We have had a similar experience to this in Engineering and Manufacturing, where we saw a large number of job opportunities in North Ohio going unfilled. Many companies left Ohio because of the storage of Engineers and Technicians."
"In response to this we installed ScanTEK 2000 labs in our associate schools and developed a program that addressed the Ohio standards and integrated contextualized, real life experience learning with modules."
"This has been a great success and we have 17 students applying for every Industrial Technology Teachers class now. Based on our experiences to date with IT2000 we are looking forward to the same levels of success with our new IT programs."