ICYMI: Business Roundtable Discusses Private Sector Efforts, Policy Reforms Needed to Equip U.S. Workers

June 20, 2024

On Wednesday, June 12, Business Roundtable’s Dane Linn, Senior Vice President of Corporate Initiatives, participated in Semafor’s “The World of Work” event to discuss how America’s business leaders are training and recruiting workers and the federal workforce policies needed to complement their efforts. Below are key excerpts from Linn’s remarks.

On the Pressing Need for Strong Workforce Training Programs:

“... We have 8 million open jobs, and we’re worried ... about our ability to compete. And the key way in which you compete is talent. It’s about recruiting skilled talent but it's also about, given evolution of technologies, not just AI but technologies broadly speaking, it is about the reskilling and upskilling of individuals.”

On the Importance of a Public-Private Approach:

“[The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act] is the biggest investment we have in this country, aside from Pell grants, in the federal workforce system. We need more of those funds to actually be dedicated to training individuals. The second big piece is around the Pell grants ... Those are two key pieces of federal legislation that the BRT and CEOs are trying to advance. ... On the nonfederal policy side, [America’s leading companies are] walking the walk. We can’t depend on federal policy to solve this problem alone.”

On the Opportunities for Employers and Educational Institutions to Partner:

“The challenges we face are around the four-year colleges and universities. One, their challenge is that not everyone is as excited about a four-year degree; they don't want to end up in debt. They want to get into the workplace, but they also want opportunities for economic mobility. But there are partnerships like the one we have down in Texas where we actually have institutions coming to us saying ‘Tell us what you need; we will be nimble. Let’s customize and revamp existing programs. Let’s create new programs.’ We have a long way to go in higher education.”

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