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U.S. Skills Survey Reveals Industry Workforce Needs and Gaps
March 27, 2024
Bonnie Johnson

Skills Survey Reveals U.S. Agriculture & Food Industry Workforce Needs and Gaps

U.S. employers report challenges in finding suitable job candidates with work-ready skills to fill open roles in the agri-food industry. surveyed these employers to gain deeper insights into the skills they seek and identify the most significant skills gaps in the workforce. The recently published U.S. Skills Survey offers valuable market insights, data, and trends to help address skill development requirements within the industry.


Employers ranked “Problem-Solving and Decision-Making” as the most necessary skills for all employees, followed by “Organization and Planning Skills” and “Teamwork.” Problem-solving and decision-making were also identified as areas with the most significant gap for both current employees and new graduate hires. Only 18% of U.S. employers said that new graduate hires were adequately prepared with work-ready skills upon hire, whereas 76% said experienced new hires were equipped with these skills.



These findings underscore the significance of soft skill development for employees at all levels, particularly for students and individuals entering the workforce for the first time. Employers indicated that they are most inclined to seek out soft skills training when considering professional development opportunities for their staff; communication and verbal skills trainings were the most useful to employees and new hires.


Survey data also examined industry-specific skills required for employee success, such as sustainability, data science, and food science. Results indicate the most extensive knowledge needs were in agronomy and precision agriculture, followed by animal sciences.


The survey report breaks down specific topics and knowledge for each subject area and outlines the skills necessary for various employment levels, such as skilled trades, production, managers, and executives. The full report is free to the public for download here

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