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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.

CFOs Set Priorities: Tax Reform, Education, Immigration, Infrastructure

Earlier this month The Wall Street Journal  held its fourth annual CFO Network conference, an invitation-only gathering of more than 100 chief financial officers of the world’s largest companies, many who serve under the CEOs who comprise Business Roundtable.

Senate Passage of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Advances Critical Education and Workforce Training Programs

BRT applauded Senate passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The Senate-House bill, which was introduced last month to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), is an important first step toward better aligning federal workforce development programs with employer needs.

Business Roundtable Joins BHEF to Launch New York City Regional Education Project

Washington, D.C. (June 19) —Today, the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) and Business Roundtable (BRT) joined forces to launch the next area of focus of BHEF’s National Higher Education and Workforce Initiative (HEWI): the Financial Services Industry Workforce Project.

More Than $400,000 in Grant Funding Awarded to National Network Members

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (the Network), an effort led by Business Roundtable and ACT Foundation, congratulates 10 of its member business and industry associations for winning a combined $410,550 in grant funding from ACT Foundation.

How U.S. Students are Underperforming

At a panel discussion Wednesday with five former governors rebutting critics of the Common Core State Standards, BRT President John Engler offered several slides that illustrated how students in many countries are doing much better in answering math questions than U.S. students. Much better ...

America’s Business Leaders Applaud Bipartisan Senate-House Effort to Reauthorize Workforce Investment Act

Business Roundtable, an association of business leaders representing every sector of the economy, today applauded introduction of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, commending it both as a first step toward better aligning federal workforce development programs with employer needs and for the bipartisan, bicameral cooperation that produced it.

A Welcome Boost for Charter Schools

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted 360-45 to pass H.R. 10, Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, an excellent piece of legislation that would help expand high-quality charter school education around the country.

Stagnating Educational Performance a Blow to Students and the U.S.

Dismaying news from the latest round of National Assessment of Education Progress reports on student performance: "National average scores from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) did not change from 2009. Among the 11 volunteer pilot states that participated in both the 2009 and 2013 assessments, 4 made gains from 2009 in mathematics and 2 made gains in reading."

Letter Supporting the Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act

On behalf of the more than 200 chief executive officers who are members of the Business Roundtable, I am writing in support of the Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, which reauthorizes the federal Charter Schools Program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).


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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