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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.

How Common Core State Standards Support National Readiness

According to a report released by Mission Readiness, a non-partisan national security organization of senior retired military leaders calling for smart investments in America’s Children, nearly 75 percent of Americans aged 17 to 24 do not meet one or more of the basic qualifications to join our nation’s armed forces. That is a staggering number and should give all of us pause.

New Training Grants Match Employers with Skills Training

The Administration on Wednesday announced a fourth round of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants to partner employers and education programs to provide future workers the training they need to get good jobs.

National Network Welcomes Announcement on Skills Grants

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (the National Network) today applauded efforts by the Administration to better align education with skills employers need through the fourth round of grants under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT).

America’s Business Leaders Welcome New Round of Training Grants

Business Roundtable welcomed today’s announcement by the Administration of a fourth round of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants.

America’s Business Leaders Applaud Committee Passage of ‘Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act’

Business Roundtable, representing CEOs of leading U.S. companies from every sector of the economy, today applauded the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for passing S. 1468, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013.

Business Roundtable Letter to Congress in Support of H.R. 10

On behalf of the more than 200 chief executive officers who are members of Business Roundtable, I write to express support for H.R. 10, the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, which reauthorizes the federal Charter Schools Program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

New Jet Engine Plant a Model for Succeeding in Global Economy

Today’s announcement that GE Aviation is going to build a jet-engine assembly plant in Lafayette, Ind., is not just good news for the local community, it also provides some valuable lessons about what it takes to compete and win in today’s highly competitive global marketplace.

Education, a global presence and strong export tools make a critical difference.

BRT Letter to Senate Supporting the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013

On behalf of the over 200 chief executive officers who are members of the Business Roundtable, I am pleased to support S. 1468, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013.

Working to Close the Skills Gap

Business leaders are all too familiar with the “skills gap” in the U.S. workforce. For example, more than 95 percent of surveyed Business Roundtable member CEOs indicated that their companies suffer from skills shortages.  Learn more here about the gap and what companies are doing to close it.


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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