Education & Workforce | Page 4 | 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.

The Top Line: Economy Adds 255,000 Jobs in July, Unemployment Steady

The labor market exhibited signs of strength in July despite continued global headwinds and sluggish second quarter economic growth, adding 255,000 jobs in the month. According to the monthly report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, payrolls registered a second month of robust gains, wages continued to rise, and weekly hours ticked up. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent even as more Americans entered the labor force.

Policy for the Reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career And Technical Education Act

As an association of CEOs who represent more than 200 leading U.S. companies with more than 16 million employees, Business Roundtable understands the importance of a skilled, prepared workforce. Its members are also familiar with the skills gap affecting the U.S. economy. According to a recent survey of its members, more than 95 percent of CEOs indicated their companies suffer from skills shortages. The long-term negative impacts of this skills gap on workers, families, businesses, governments and the economy are potentially far-reaching.

Career Technical Ed Bill Will Help Close Skills Gap

Business Roundtable today welcomed bipartisan Committee passage of a bill to reauthorize career and technical education (CTE) programs that demonstrably improve student outcomes after high school.

BRT Letter Supporting The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act

Business Roundtable has been actively engaged with lawmakers to ensure CTE programs are updated in a way that works for all stakeholders in the system, from students to the business community.

BRT Comment on NPRM related to the ESSA

June 27, 2016

Meredith Miller
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Room 3C106
Washington, DC  20202-2800

Dear Ms. Miller:

On behalf of Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, I am writing in response to the Department’s May 31 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to accountability and state plans under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Closing the Skills Gap

The American economy and Americans thrive when U.S. workers have the levels of education and training needed to fill 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.

Putting People on Career Pathways Should Be Focus of Safety Net Improvements, Engler Tells House Ways and Means

Business Roundtable ‘wholeheartedly shares’ Committee commitment to helping people find and retain employment

In testimony today at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on “Moving America’s Families Forward: Setting Priorities for Reducing Poverty and Expanding Opportunity,” Business Roundtable President John Engler said:

Business Roundtable: Welfare Reform Should Include Focus on Education, Training

Congressional efforts to reauthorize welfare reform should include a major emphasis on education and workforce training, Business Roundtable President John Engler testified today at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

Testimony on Welfare Reform before House Ways and Means Committee

The pro-growth agenda laid out by the Speaker presents an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to create policies that help more individuals realize the American dream. Too many people still find themselves out of work or in a place that does not enable them to maintain a high quality of life.

Beyond Commencement: What Does a High School Diploma Mean?

In a few weeks, young people across the country will be walking the stage to receive their high school diplomas. The good news is that an all-time high number of students will be graduating. The bad news is that only a very small percentage of them will have taken a full college- and career-prep curriculum on their way to commencement. 


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.