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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.

Beyond Commencement: What Does a High School Diploma Mean?

In a few weeks, young people across the country will be walking the stage to receive their high school diplomas. The good news is that an all-time high number of students will be graduating. The bad news is that only a very small percentage of them will have taken a full college- and career-prep curriculum on their way to commencement. 

BRT Letter to EEOC on Revision of Employer Information Report

Jenny Yang
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
131 M Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20507

Dear Chair Yang:


For Economic Opportunity, Explore all Educational Opportunities

To tackle youth unemployment, students and their families need to know more about all educational opportunities, not just four-year universities and colleges.

With Senate ESSA Passage, BRT Pledges to Support Implementation

Senate passage of ESSA marks a historic moment in the nation’s longstanding commitment to ensuring all students are ready to succeed in college, career and military service.

BRT: House ESEA Passage ‘Marks a Milestone Moment’

Today’s House vote marks a milestone moment toward fulfilling the nation’s promise of a high-quality education for all American students. This legislation contains a number of important provisions that will hold schools accountable for the education they provide.

BRT Letter Urging Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act

Passage of this legislation would mark a historic moment in our nation’s longstanding commitment to ensuring all students are ready to succeed in college, career or military service.

Business Civil Rights Coalition Statement on the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states will have more discretion than under No Child Left Behind, but they will be responsible for working within federal guardrails to design systems that assure genuine equity and excellence for all students.

Staying the Course on Higher State Standards

Opponents of Common Core have been pointing to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal as evidence that Common Core State Standards are on the decline. “After 45 states adopt educational standards, many have second thoughts,” claimed one of the headlines.

But is the premise of the article accurate? Hardly.

Work-and-Learn: A Model for Building the 21st Century Workforce

Every day, we hear from America’s business leaders on challenges of all shapes and sizes – but one issue remains a top priority: the skills gap. Our CEOs know that the health of their companies and, ultimately, of the economy relies on a workforce equipped with the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow.

BRT Launches New Tools to Close the Skills Gap

Business Roundtable released a series of video testimonials from member CEOs who discuss the impact the skills gap has had on their businesses and outline the steps they are taking to help close the gap.


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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