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As business leaders representing every sector of the economy, Business Roundtable members know that the American economy thrives when U.S. workers have the levels of education and training needed to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our country needs a world-class, skilled workforce to lead in global innovation, ensure future economic growth and drive job creation.

Unfortunately, the U.S. skills gap is real and growing. According to a Business Roundtable member survey, 94 percent of CEOs report that skills gaps are problematic for their companies. This talent gap affects all skill levels – from entry level to the highly technical.

More must be done now to strengthen the education and training pipeline serving youth and working adults so that individuals have the skills needed to be prepared to work and build sustainable career paths.

Managing a 'New Era' for University Trustees

Trustees and directors who oversee U.S. higher education in this country must become more active in their roles, as this country's universities and colleges face serious challenges of educational quality, cost and global competitiveness, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni argue in a just-completed project, "Governance for a New Era."

Business-Led Network Welcomes White House Support for Workforce Development

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations welcomed the Administration’s latest workforce initiatives, noting that the focus now should be on the adoption of promising, business-led solutions designed to prepare students and workers for the modern economy.

Learning While Working

In today’s world, learning – whether through education, training or experience – and working are no longer independent, stand-alone domains. The innovation-driven economy demands that individuals weave learning opportunities throughout their careers to upgrade their skills, acquire new competencies and apply them across multiple jobs and industries.

Reauthorization of Education and Workforce Training Programs Is ‘Major Achievement,’ Say America’s Business Leaders

Business Roundtable today welcomed the President’s signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act into law. The measure reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act to better align federal workforce development programs with employer needs.

National Network One Pager

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (the National Network) launched in late 2013 with the mission to improve economic opportunity and quality of life for Americans by better connecting the working world and the learning world. The National Network is pioneering this new movement to eliminate the divide between “school” and “work” and extend clear pathways to and from learning opportunities and good jobs.

Taking Action to Connect Learning & Work

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (the National Network) will improve economic opportunity and quality of life for Americans by better connecting the working world and the learning world.

A Foundation for Success in the Workplace

The Skills All Employees Need, No Matter Where They Work. Today, employers in every industry sector emphasize the need for employees with certain foundational skills. These include, a strong academic grounding in reading and math, as well as individual abilities such as teamwork, problem solving, work ethic and integrity.

Preventing a Decline in America's Living Standards

Three trends could lead to a decline in America's standard of living within the next 15 years, a new report being released by Accenture says.

Critical Education and Workforce Training Programs Move One Step Closer to Reauthorization

Business Roundtable applauded House passage on Thursday, July 9, of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The bill, which the Senate passed last month, reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and better aligns federal workforce development programs with employer needs


Committee Priorities

Improve U.S. K-12 Education

A persistent complaint by employers is that many high school and college graduates – as well as some adult workers – lack foundational skills needed in the 21st century workplace. These include, for example, analyzing complex texts, adapting to new technologies and problem solving.

Rigorous academic standards in K-12 English language arts and mathematics are critical to ensuring all students graduate from high school ready for college and the workforce. Business Roundtable supports the full adoption and implementation of high-quality education standards and aligned assessments to raise the performance of U.S. students. Business Roundtable also supports policies and programs that ensure all students read on grade level by the end of third grade.

Align Individual Skills with Employer Needs

Businesses increasingly have difficulty finding employees with the knowledge and training required to meet their workforce needs. This includes both technical skills – such as aptitude in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – and applied skills – such as leadership, problem-solving and communications abilities. This misalignment of skills exacerbates unemployment and stifles economic growth.

Business Roundtable believes a multifaceted solution, involving public and private players, is needed to address this skills mismatch problem. As a start, employers must send a clear, direct “demand signal” of the foundational attributes employees must demonstrate to succeed in the workplace; industry needs to sort out the large and chaotic world of industry credentials; state workforce boards and educational and training centers must understand job needs in each region and focus on helping students acquire the skills needed to fill those jobs; and human resources practices must improve across industry to identify competencies gained through valid credential programs and relevant experience.

Key Federal Legislation

Business Roundtable will continue to advocate for federal legislation that authorizes programs and policies that improve educational outcomes and help close the skills gap, including reauthorization of America COMPETES, the Carl D. Perkins Act and the Higher Education Act.

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