Education and Workforce CEOs Tackle Skills Gap as a ‘National Crisis’ Threatening America’s Economic Future

Jun 7, 2017

Washington — Business Roundtable today released a new report, Work in Progress – How CEOs Are Helping Close America’s Skills Gap, which highlights employers’ efforts to address the talent gap shortages impacting business. These efforts include programs in K-12 skill-building, postsecondary credentials, worker training and recruiting a diverse workforce.

“As employers, we know that America’s economic growth is directly linked to the skills of today’s workers. Unfortunately, the skills of many job applicants and existing employees have not kept up with the requirements of current and future jobs,” said Wes Bush, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Northrop Grumman Corporation and Chair of the Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee.
“U.S. employers have invested significant resources into tackling the challenge – on their own and through partnerships with higher education and government – and we will continue to press forward to solve this 

Business Roundtable is also releasing the findings of a recent CEO survey on the skills gap, which revealed three types of skills gaps in today’s workforce, often acting in combination:

  • A lack of individuals with fundamental “employability skills,” such as the ability to use basic math, communicate effectively, read technical manuals, work successfully in teams and participate in complex problem-solving. Seventy-five percent of responding CEOs indicated that fundamental math, reading and writing skills are important. Fifty percent of them are having difficulty finding qualified applicants with these skills.
  • A lack of workers who have the specialized skills needed to fill many trade positions. Forty-four percent of responding CEOs expressed difficulty finding qualified candidates for at least one skilled trade occupation.
  • A lack of applicants with the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills needed for many of today’s jobs. The Business Roundtable CEO survey found that cybersecurity, data science, robotics, software and computer science engineers were among the most difficult positions to fill with qualified candidates.

Another issue affecting the labor market, the survey revealed, is the difficulty employers have in finding and recruiting skilled women and minorities to fill open positions, especially in the STEM fields.

Download a copy of the new CEO report, Work in Progress – How CEOs Are Helping Close America’s Skills Gap, here

Today Business Roundtable CEOs Wes Bush, Jamie Dimon and Ginni Rometty, along with congressional leaders and representatives from the Trump Administration, will participate in an event to discuss the U.S. skills gap and why solving it is critical to economic growth and individual prosperity in America. The event will showcase how America’s leading employers are addressing workforce issues through innovative programs to recruit skilled workers to address both immediate and long-term shortages at their companies.

Watch today’s discussion from 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. via livestream here.

We use cookies to give you the best experience when using our website. You can click “Accept” if you agree to allow us to place cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Notice.