Education & Workforce | Page 7 | 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.

BRT Letter to Congressional Leaders Urging Action on ESEA

Both the Senate and House versions of ESEA legislation contain elements that business leaders support, but more needs to be done to deliver a meaningful education to our students.

Good News on Hiring Veterans, and BRT Companies Playing Their Part

With today's Veterans Day commemoration, we note this positive development in the long-standing challenge of employing the men and women who served in the U.S. military.

From Military Times, "Veteran unemployment hits 7-year low in October":

Renewing the Promise of the Higher Education Act

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act, legislation that cemented U.S. colleges and universities as a foundation for individual success, a dynamic economy and national prosperity.

National Organizations Outline Principles for HEA Reauthorization

The seven guiding principles seek to increase the quality, affordability and relevance of educational opportunities supported by HEA reauthorization.

Economic Growth Should Take Center Stage at Presidential Debates

It’s the Republicans’ turn for a presidential debate tonight, and as 10 candidates take the stage in Boulder to discuss the economy, business leaders have this message for them: The ceiling is high for presidential candidates with a plan for economic growth.

Letter: Urging Congress to Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act

As employers, our members know that a prepared workforce powers economic growth and leads to individual prosperity. Preparedness starts with a solid educational foundation. The K-12 education programs that would be reauthorized provide states, districts, schools and teachers with the resources they need to make sure all students graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills they need to take on college or a career.

The Top Line: Labor Market Loses Momentum in September

The U.S. labor market lost momentum in September. Payrolls and wages were softer than expected, while the unemployment rate held steady. This month’s report suggests that the U.S. economy’s resilience to the slowdown in global growth may be fading, and raises questions regarding whether the Fed will move forward with its planned interest rate hike before the end of the year. For more detail, see The Top Line below.

Principles to Ensure Higher Education Act Reauthorization Helps Students, Employers & America

A quality postsecondary education is foundational to workforce preparedness – both for workplace productivity and individual success. U.S. employers increasingly need highly skilled employees to compete globally, and individuals generally receive increased economic benefits based on their education levels. Federal policies should support America’s skills needs and expand postsecondary opportunities to more students.

For Educational Progress: Higher Standards and Rigorous Assessments

Michigan suffers from a "preparation gap," with 35 percent of graduating high school students who enter college unprepared for freshmen level coursework, write BRT President John Engler and Daniel Hurley, CEO of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan.

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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.