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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.

Business Roundtable Statement on House Passage of the Student Success Act

The House today took an important step toward ensuring all students graduate from high school with the tools necessary to succeed in college and careers, but more needs to be done.

Joint Letter on ESEA Testing

We write today to encourage you to vote against any amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization that would weaken test participation requirements.

Business Leaders Urge Senate to Act on ESEA

Bipartisan Bill Passed by Key Committee Would Strengthen Nation’s K-12 Education System

Coalition Letter on Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Senators Alexander and Murray have produced a positive framework for reauthorizing ESEA that will continue moving our country forward in the effort to ensure all our children receive a quality education.

BRT Letter on The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015

Business Roundtable members believe that Congress must focus on ensuring all students graduate from high school with the tools necessary to succeed in college and careers.

For a More Competitive Business Environment, Tax Reform and Talent

From our friends at Grand Valley State University in Michigan:

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler said states with the best education and talent will win economically, during his remarks at a Seidman College of Business event.

Business Roundtable Letter on H.R. 5, the Student Success Act

I am writing to offer our views on H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which is scheduled to be marked up before the House Education and Workforce Committee on February 11, 2015.

College and Career Readiness Is Top Priority for CEOs

Business Roundtable today released its principles for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization and called on Congress and the President to create a bipartisan bill to update and improve K-12 education programs to ensure all high school graduates can succeed in college and careers.

Coalition Letter on ESEA Reauthorization

Dear Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Scott and Other Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce:

Northrop Grumman CEO Named Vice Chair of Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee

Business Roundtable Chairman Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc., today announced the selection of Wes Bush, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Northrop Grumman Corporation, to serve as Vice Chair of the Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee. Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, is Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee.


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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