The nation is facing a grave problem that threatens the economic future of every worker, every company, and the country at large. Over 9.1 million Americans are unemployed and millions of others are underemployed. Yet, 4.8 million jobs remain unfilled because there are not enough people with the practical, real-world skills that companies need. The current skills gap is not only hampering domestic growth; it’s threatening economic competitiveness on a global scale. The more insidious aspect of this employment trend is that many in the workforce are giving up the very attribute that makes the U.S. great – hope.