Education & Workforce | Page 29 | Business Roundtable


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What is Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

More Than Leaders. Leadership.

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote a thriving economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.

About BRT

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.

Coalition for Student Achievement Calls for Bold Action on Stimulus Education Reforms

As states and districts begin receiving billions in federal stimulus funding for education, a broad cross-section of organizations dedicated to transforming America’s schools is joining together to support reform.

Business Roundtable Urges Targeted Use of Stimulus Money to Dramatically Improve Schools

Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations, today joined other organizations from the education, business, civil rights, and philanthropic communities to launch the Coalition for Student Achievement.

Why America Needs High-Quality Early Care and Education

Over the past three decades, business leaders have invested time, expertise and resources in efforts to improve K–12 education in the United States. What we have learned leads us to conclude that America’s continuing efforts to improve education and develop a world-class workforce will be hampered without serious federal and state commitments to high-quality early care and education for all children, zero through five. In challenging economic times, it is essential that public investment be as efficient and effective as possible. Investments in quality early care and education, with a particular focus on children most at risk, are a wise and safe investment in our nation’s success

BRT Launches Broad-based Commission to Address Needs of American Workers

Today Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. corporations, announced the launch of The Springboard Project – an independent commission that will develop innovative approaches to help American workers acquire the new skills and the education needed to thrive in the 21st century’s evolving labor market.

Harold McGraw III's Remarks at the National Press Club Newsmaker Event

Thank you, Mark, for those kind words.

And my special thanks to you and your distinguished colleagues for providing me the opportunity to speak at this prestigious venue.

As Mark mentioned, today I’m here in my capacity as Chairman of Business Roundtable. We’re an association of the nation’s CEOs, and we, like all Americans, have come together – Democrats and Republicans – to help find an urgent solution to this financial and economic crisis that is like no other before.

Effective Leadership on the World Stage: CEO Memos to Congress

The U.S. economy today drives world growth, innovation and prosperity. And as recent events reinforce, the health of the U.S. economy is inextricably linked to the economic health of the rest of the world. If America is not doing well, the rest of the world is affected.

Letter to Congress Regarding Economic Recovery

Business Roundtable supports the Administration and Congress’ goal to develop an economic package to put our economy back on the path of long-term growth and urges swift action.

Harold McGraw III Letter to President-Elect Obama

With more than two million jobs lost in 2008 – and accelerating job losses in the past three months – decisive action is needed if we are to return our economy to a path for growth and full employment.

Business Roundtable Statement on Obama’s Secretary of Education

Business Roundtable member CEOs congratulate President-elect Obama on the selection of Arne Duncan as the next Secretary of Education. The selection signals that the Obama administration believes that aggressive efforts are needed to raise U.S. student achievement.

Task Force on the Future of American Innovation Letter to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell

As the 110th Congress draws to a close, America’s leading businesses, scientific organizations, and universities urge you to fully fund the America COMPETES Act in FY 2009.


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.