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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release September 29, 1997


On The Release Of "InfoTech Worker Shortage"

America needs a workforce for the new economy. A Department of Commerce report released today shows that job growth in information technology fields such as computer science and computer programming is growing at 95,000 per year -- far exceeding the 24,000 U.S. students who earned bachelor's degrees in computer science in 1994.

"InfoTech Worker Shortage" confirms the rapid transition to an information-based economy and the explosive growth of the Internet. It also adds to the mounting evidence regarding the demand for workers with information technology skills exceeding the supply of those workers. Failure to address this shortage of information technology professionals could slow down the red-hot growth of the information-technology sector -- one of the engines of America's economic expansion and job creation. It also could slow down the efforts of companies that are using information technology to compete and win in today's global economy.

The Administration is committed to working with the information technology industry and with institutions of higher education to find creative solutions to this problem. Many of the Administration's top priorities in education -- setting rigorous national standards for math and ensuring that all students are technologically literate -- will help to address the shortage in the long-run. President Clinton has directed the Departments of Commerce, Education and Labor to explore other partnerships with industry and academia, and the Administration looks forward to being an active participant in the National Information Technology Workforce Convocation. Working together, we can ensure that Americans are prepared for the high-tech workplace of the 21st century.