Education officials say thousands of science, technology, engineering and math jobs are going unfilled each year in Idaho due to a lack of skilled workers.
The Lewiston Tribune reports that education officials told the state Legislature's joint budget committee last week that 7,000 STEM jobs went unfilled in Idaho last year -- double the number from the prior year.
In a presentation to the committee, STEM Action Center Director Angela Hemingway says about $24 million in state tax revenue would have been generated if the jobs were filled.
Hemingway says the number of unfilled jobs could increase to 36,000 by 2024 based on current graduation rates.
Gov. Butch Otter's budget proposal seeks modest increases for the action center and state Division of Career-Technical Education to address the issue.