Considering that a high school diploma is the starting point for most employment opportunities, the only answer for high dropouts is to earn a General Educational Development (GED) diploma. This provides those who dropout a high school diploma equivalent. It also provides the opportunity to learn job skills by attending vocational technical and trade schools. source: The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reports that over 80% of manufacturers are experiencing a moderate to severe shortage of technically proficient employees. They state this gap can be easily eliminated by hiring employees who have earned a technical degree or certificate from vocational technical schools (NAM Keeping America Competitive Report, 2003)