Closing the Skills Gap: The Importance of Educating a Diverse Workforce

Anticipated demographic changes in the United States suggest that many communities—and their workforces—will be increasingly minority-based, with Hispanic population growth outpacing other minority groups. Young minorities across the country will be seeking employment in a variety of fields, including in technical fields that require solid knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). AICGS’ project on integrating young minorities into the workforce has focused on the evaluation of education and training systems that exist in the United States, especially regarding the challenges of expanding education and training opportunities to a minority-based workforce. Drawing on comparisons with programs in Germany, AICGS brought a group of workforce, migration, and education experts from the United States and Germany to the Charlotte, North Carolina, region to evaluate the situation on the ground. The project also looked at workforce development examples in the Washington, DC, area, which is home to large international and minority communities.

This Issue Brief discusses the training and integration initiatives underway—in education, enterprise, and NGOs—in the Charlotte and Washington, DC, areas.  The authors discuss the progress made, the challenges that remain, and the imperative for building a robust workforce.

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The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Elizabeth Caruth

Research Associate

Elizabeth Caruth is the Research Associate at AICGS. She oversees planning and logistics for AICGS seminars, workshops, conferences, and symposia and coordinates the AICGS internship program. Before joining AICGS, she taught English at a secondary school in Herne, Germany, as part of the Fulbright Program. She worked previously at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in the Office of the Dean and Office of Career and Professional Development and interned at WorldDenver.

Ms. Caruth received her MA in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and her BA in International Relations, European Studies, and German from the University of Arkansas.

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ecaruth@aicgs.org | 202-672-1194

Susanne Dieper

Director of Programs and Grants

Susanne Dieper is the Director of Programs and Grants at AICGS. She oversees the Institute’s programs and projects within the three AICGS program areas, manages all AICGS fellowships, and is in charge of grant writing. Her current focus is on issues related to transatlantic relations, immigration and integration, diversity, the next generation of leaders, workforce education, and reconciliation. She develops programs that align with the mission of AICGS to better understand the challenges and choices facing Germany and the United States in a broader global arena.

Previously, Ms. Dieper was in charge of organizational and project management at AICGS as well as human resource development and board of trustees relations. Prior to joining AICGS, she worked in transatlantic exchange programs, language acquisition, as well as the insurance industry in Germany.

Ms. Dieper holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in International Business and an MA in English Linguistics and Literature, History, and Spanish from the University of Cologne. She has completed course work in nonprofit management at Johns Hopkins University.

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sdieper@aicgs.org | 202-900-8331