Archived Content

Meeting the Skills Gap Challenge

Despite an unemployment rate hovering just above 4 percent (a value close to pre-recession levels), the U.S. economy faces a tough obstacle—not enough qualified workers are available to meet rising job openings. For over a year, new job postings have outpaced hiring, while over 9 million workers remain on the sidelines as discouraged job seekers or marginally attached to the labor force. Many believe this is due to a skills mismatch between the jobs available and those hoping to fill them, a belief echoed by many business leaders trying to fill vacancies. We can only fill this gap by insuring that everyone has access to the training and education needed to meet the jobs of tomorrow, which includes replacing the vast number of skilled baby boomers who are retiring.

Closing the skills gap is good for our America, good for Americans and good for businesses across the entire country. CEOs are leading in the effort to make sure that all Americans are on track for long-term success in their careers.
WES BUSHChairman and Chief Executive Officer, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Chairman of Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee

Program Spotlights

Credential Engine

Credential Engine is a non-profit organization working to improve transparency in the credentialing marketplace. Through an increasing array of credentials, job seekers, students and workers have more options than ever to help them get ahead. Credential Engine is working to ensure everyone has a practical way to obtain relevant and comparable information about these diverse credentials.

MovingCredentialing Forward

National Network

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations works to bridge the skills gap by better connecting the worlds of learning and work. We’ve brought together a cross-section of business and industry groups to help communicate to learning institutions the skills employers are looking for, as well as to help industries and employers adjust hiring and business practices to focus on the competencies and skills workers have and are developing in today’s economy.

ConnectingLearning and Work

Workforce Development Partnerships

Through strategic partnerships with educational institutions and career training organizations, we are creating and supporting work-based learning models that lead to academic and career success in communities across the country. By creating seamless pathways to high-demand careers, these models are among the most effective ways to bridge the gap between talent supply and business demand.

Partnerships, InitiativesInsights and Trends

Company Spotlights

Business Roundtable member companies are developing a wide variety of programs and tools to address the challenges they face in recruiting and training a skilled workforce. We invite you to explore how our member CEOs are taking steps to put the skills gap out of business.
Strengthening STEM education is a critical opportunity both to equip young people with the necessary skills to build a successful career and to advance scientific discoveries that will make the world safer, healthier and more prosperous. At 3M, we will continue to do our part to make this opportunity a reality.
AK Steel
Both our short-term and longer- term initiatives to attract and maintain our skilled workforce are necessary to continue our heritage of quality and innovative steelmaking.
The technology that runs our business is changing fast, requiring new capabilities and continuous learning. We’re giving employees tools to adapt, and it’s great to see them update and enhance their skills.
Accenture has undergone a major transformation to serve its clients, rotating its business to digital-, cloud- and security- related services.
American Electric Power
Developing the data analytics skills of our workforce is key to AEP’s efforts to deliver the best customer experience and provide the energy products and services our customers want and need.
Building a highly skilled and diverse workforce is important not only for the U.S. economy but also for the future of our industry. We’re investing in apprenticeships because they will help us harness untapped potential and create the future leaders for our sector.
Ball’s investment across the STEM spectrum results in more learners having access to real- world, relevant and challenging experiences that excite and prepare them to become our future employees.
Bank of America
We want to be the best place to work for our employees. Having the right mix of training, development opportunities, benefits and compensation helps us attract and retain talented teammates and is core to our approach to responsible growth.
Operating domestically and internationally requires Bechtel to ensure its employees have the skills necessary to operate in a technically challenging, globally competitive environment. Workforce training ensures our employees can compete a
Best Buy
Best Buy is committed to providing underserved youth hands-on access to the technology training and tools they need to be successful in school and prepared for jobs of the future.
America’s largest companies, many of whom are struggling with skills gaps in filling technical positions, must improve internal training to compete for talent and fulfill their responsibilities to their employees.
The Boeing Company
A vibrant and growing economy requires a strong talent pipeline to lead the next generation of innovation. From the public policies we advocate for to the investments we make as a company, we’re committed to engaging the aerospace leaders of tomorrow in the classrooms they’re in today.
The ability to be innovative is essential in today’s manufacturing industry. BorgWarner develops high-tech innovations that drive the world forward, while attracting the best and brightest.
CVS Health
At CVS Health, we know that today’s youth are the business leaders, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and health care professionals of tomorrow. That’s why we’re focused on introducing young people to careers in health care and pharmacy, two significantly expanding fields, and ensuring that they are armed with the skills they need to achieve success not only in their careers but also in life. By training and hiring young people, we are building not only a strong workforce but also stronger communities.
Chevron Corporation
Supporting STEM and tomorrow’s workforce is critical to the success of our business. We strive to build lasting relationships to create progress and prosperity now and for generations to come.
Cigna’s strategic focus is centered on delivering high-quality, affordable and personalized solutions for our customers and clients by leveraging our insights, brand, talent and localized approach.
In a survey of America's business leaders, more than half of responding CEOs reported that talent gaps are already problematic or very problematic for their companies and industries.
Our people are the heart and soul of Comcast, and there’s nothing more important than developing talent as we look ahead to what’s next.
A strong pipeline of future leaders is essential to the growth of our business and to positioning Conduent for sustainable market leadership. We are making a significant investment in the training and leadership development of our front line managers and supervisors, equipping them with the skills and competencies they need to build a culture of high performance, engagement and productivity within their teams.
Solving the skills gap will accelerate the creation of new jobs and fulfilling careers. Investing in differentiated training models addresses the challenge, supports employees and makes good business sense.
Each year, our recruiting teams fill thousands of positions for our clients, enabling them to grow, innovate and deliver in highly technical industries. To continue to be our clients’ preferred provider, we need to attract and develop and invest in those who fuel our business: our recruiters.
Our people are our most important asset, and we place a high priority on fostering a leadership culture focused on the development and well-being of our professionals.
Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman & CEO of The Dow Chemical Company and Business Roundtable Vice Chair, discusses the skills gap in the advanced manufacturing sector and highlights Dow’s efforts to prepare workers for success.
Duke Energy
Our dynamic industry demands the kind of new and different skills from our workforce that veterans embody. Our new program to recruit veterans to our team is producing great results.
As an industry leader, we see highly skilled talent as our most important asset. We not only strive to find the best people, but we also help them grow and develop through programs that expand their capabilities and benefit our clients.
The skills our people need to succeed are constantly changing. That’s why we are investing more than ever in ongoing training opportunities for our employees, including more than $500 million in over 12 million hours of classroom learning.
Eastman Chemical Company
In order for workforce development initiatives to be successful, they must be comprehensive and include industry-driven engagement, public and private support, and strong community connections, and they must offer educational opportunities for traditional and nontraditional students, as well as training programs that are customized to specific employer needs.
Exxon Mobil
Our partners – NMSI and UTeach – are preparing students and teachers for a STEM-reliant economy. Their success in developing a skilled and diverse workforce will help meet the world’s energy needs.
Our Sales Academy is delivering success on two fronts — developing skills that drive value to our bottom line and providing a highly engaging career path that aligns with the goals of our workforce.
Fluor Corporation
Since the 1960s, Fluor has invested in the future of the craft workforce, providing opportunities to current and future craft professionals. Fluor is now one of the country’s largest construction employers. We are pleased to aid in developing the next generation of skilled craft workers through our U.S. Gulf Coast Craft Training Center. By expanding our pre-employment training to include multiple disciplines, we can better address the industrywide demand for skilled craft workers.
One critical challenge we face at Freeport-McMoRan — and really across the entire mining industry — is finding employees with the right skills. Filling those positions requires creativity and long-term planning.
"At GM, we welcome employees from all stages of life and want to make the transition [from a career break] as rewarding as possible.”
Harris Corporation
Harris will welcome more than 500 college graduates and interns in 2017, 75 percent of whom are engineers. People are the legacy we leave behind, and our college recruiting programs are key to developing our future leaders and technologists.
In Honeywell’s journey of being a premier software-industrial company, we seek to build up our employment of the best software talent that have contemporary coding and developer skills for our new Software Innovation Center in Atlanta, GA.
Through investing in our greatest asset — our team members — by offering training to enable continuous learning, we are positioning Humana to meet the diverse needs of the people we serve, now and in the future.
Huntington Ingalls
The best thing we can do to close the skills gap is to change the cultural perception of manufacturing. Generations of shipbuilders in Virginia and Mississippi have proven that it’s possible to get a good-paying job without a college degree.
This is not about white collar vs. blue collar jobs but about the New Collar jobs that employers in many industries demand but that remain largely unfilled. To create New Collar jobs we will need new kinds of collaboration — involving federal and state governments, public school systems, community colleges, and private business across multiple industries.
International Paper
International Paper is seizing the opportunity to reinvent our workforce for the future. Our Global Manufacturing Training Initiative is preparing the next generation of IP team members that are critical to the company’s success.
JP Morgan Chase & Co.
As our economy changes, it is more important than ever for businesses to attract, develop and retain a highly skilled workforce. JPMorgan Chase is investing in innovative models of recruiting and training employees and building a diverse team of talented technologists who help us better serve clients and grow
Lockheed Martin
To take on 21st century challenges, our nation needs a workforce with 21st century skills. To develop such a workforce, we will need every sector of society to do its part to promote science, technology, engineering, and math — from grade schools to universities, from apprenticeships to worker retraining. Only then, will we have a talent pipeline equal to the challenges ahead.
Lyondell Basel
LyondellBasell’s strong partnership with San Jacinto College helps ensure that we have a pipeline of skilled talent with the knowledge and skills required to advance the products and solutions our world needs.
At Macy’s we seek out passionate and talented associates like Juan throughout our stores. Then we challenge them to learn more and tackle something new so they can become future leaders.
Our customers — public safety agencies and critical infrastructure providers — demand an ever- increasing level of sophistication and security in our products and services, and our investment in building the pipeline of skilled talent from our universities and reskilling our workforce is tailored to match these demands.
New York Life Insurance
Through our succession planning process, we recognized a need to build the leadership skills and business knowledge of midlevel leaders to prepare them to join the executive officer ranks.
Northrop Grumman
We sincerely appreciate the partnerships with universities in working with industry to enhance educational opportunities for students to fill the workforce needs of today and the future.
In order to ensure the program’s success, we created a robust curriculum structure, identified the most qualified candidates, and provided them with clear career paths to support future growth and development.
Pitney Bowes
The 2015 SFT education program has had a lasting impact on driving the company’s digital transformation. With 95 percent of the global innovation team participating in the program we have seen a rapid adoption of these technologies across new and legacy Pitney Bowes products.
Qualcomm is committed to inspiring the next generation of innovators. Our STEM initiatives inspire and engage students at all levels and from all backgrounds by showing them the possibilities that lay before them in areas such as robotics, connected cars, Internet of Things and 5G.
Successful manufacturers invest in their workforce as a competitive differentiator throughout economic cycles.
A generation ago most jobs and careers were pretty narrow in their focus. Today’s worker can expand and grow and develop across this truly breathtaking global and digital economy.
The skills gap jeopardizes America’s position as the world’s foremost country in innovation. We must bolster education at all levels to ensure we have the current and future talent to seize jobs in analytics, data science and other high-demand STEM fields.
SIRVA has created an opportunity for team members to transition from one business area to another, which allows the company to have team members with broad-based mobility experience and knowledge.
Shell Oil Company
Shell’s efforts focus on attracting students to technical curricula, improving academic performance and developing future generations of technical professionals who will solve the world’s most challenging problems.
The key to Siemens’ success in the United States, where we’ve been active for more than 160 years, is having a highly skilled manufacturing workforce. By adapting the German-style apprenticeship model to our largest market, Siemens is demonstrating a proven approach to industrial reskilling that adds value to U.S. industry, strengthens families and communities, and supports our economy.
Our research about the future of work shows the nature of jobs is changing. We embrace technological advancements, globalization and other factors, preparing employees for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities.
The IT ED program represents a strategic investment to increase the capabilities of our most important asset — our people.
Texas Instruments
Innovation is the key to our nation’s future and competitiveness. To innovate, TI and other American companies must be able to hire highly skilled, STEM-capable engineers and technicians.
Ultimately, Reaching Potential through Manufacturing is creating a pipeline of talent that is good for TSV, the community, the students and their families.
Our development programs are vital to accelerating advisor talent in Vanguard, building a rewarding career path and ensuring we continue to give our clients the best chance at investment success.
I want us to have an unwavering commitment to developing the best possible leaders and making sure we’re growing the best possible talent we can.
Walgreens Boots Alliance
Our ability to hire talented, diverse people who contribute to their community and care for our customers and patients creates meaningful competitive advantage. Our people are a force for good!
Everything we do begins with our associates. That’s why we have invested in training academies for associates to further develop the skills they need to better serve customers and succeed in a rapidly changing retail environment. Walmart is a place where anyone can fulfill their potential.
Well Fargo
We are committed to hiring and retaining military veterans, veterans with disabilities and active military personnel. We recognize their military experience brings tremendous talent, leadership and strength to our organization.
In 2016–17, more than 32,500 of our global workforce built depth by certifying in one skill related to technology of the future.
Xerox recognizes the importance of our workforce and the critical skills necessary to bring value to our customers, so we invest in the development of our people as a growth engine.
Talent is one of the most important investments we can make in the success of Zoetis, so we provide experiences that both develop colleagues and enhance how we serve customers.