Expanding Skills and Employment Pathways Through Innovative Partnerships

CEOs are driving solutions to connect students and working adults to pathways that lead to sustained gainful employment. Business Roundtable members are developing a wide variety of programs, partnerships and tools – from apprenticeships and internships to on-the-job training – to address the challenges they face in recruiting and training a skilled workforce.

A Pathway to Action

WPI is a process where corporate CEOs partner with colleges and universities in targeted regions to close critical skills gaps. WPI leverages the full portfolio of Business Roundtable’s Corporate Initiatives – such as the Multiple Pathways Initiative, the Apprenticeship Accelerator, or the Second Chance Coalition – to move from vision to lasting action. Together, these programs coalesce to increase the availability and diversity of talent with in-demand skills through a network of higher education partners.

More than 30 CEOs from leading U.S. companies are working with local colleges and universities in several U.S. regions to fill high-demand jobs in STEM-related fields such as cybersecurity and data analytics, and in skilled trade positions such as technicians, machinists and welders.

Launched in June 2018, WPI is also taking much-need action to:

  • Boost fundamental workforce readiness skills such as basic math, reading and problem solving;
  • Increase STEM skills within America’s workforce and growing the number of job candidates who are qualified for the jobs of today and tomorrow, including in the high-demand fields of cybersecurity, data science, engineering and computer science;
  • Grow the number of workers who have specialized skills needed to fill trade positions such as machinists, welders, electricians and sheet metal workers; and
  • Engage, train and employee women, minorities, veterans and other populations who are under-represented in STEM occupations and digital jobs of the new economy.

With the right programs and partnerships, businesses can create and expand pathways to prepare current and prospective employees to grow and succeed in their careers.

Training for the Future: Apprenticeships for a Changing Economy

Many of the companies leading WPI efforts are providing apprenticeships that connect learning directly to the work at hand—while simultaneously helping employers train and advance employees.

Rather than requiring employees to obtain additional certifications or degrees, which can be costly and time-consuming, some apprenticeships enable companies to provide on-the-job training without the need for specific credentials. Apprenticeships allow students or younger workers to learn real-world lessons from more experienced workers, transferring critical company and industry knowledge from one generation of workers to the next.

Credential Engine: Moving Credentialing Forward

Credential Engine grew out of the Credential Transparency Initiative, a project supported by Business Roundtable, which began in 2013. Credential Engine is a non-profit organization working to improve transparency in the credentialing marketplace. By providing a common credentialing language, a centralized registry of credentials and a credential search engine, Credential Engine enables job seekers, students and workers to make informed decisions about credentials and their value. 

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