A Competitive Workforce
A Competitive Workforce
The Skills Gap
The Business Community Discusses the Effects of the Skills Gap
Our nation is at risk in the global race for talent. To increase U.S. competitiveness, we must educate, train, attract, and invest in employees who are able to compete and grow in the 21st century. The U.S. Chamber works to strengthen our nation’s education system and improve our workforce training programs.
- Two-thirds of fourth- and eighth-grade students are unable to read at grade level, and many are unable to read at all. 30% of U.S. students fail to graduate from high school in four years—and the dropout rate is more than 50% for African-Americans and Hispanics.
- 70% of fourth- and eighth-grade students score below grade level in math.
- Once first in the world, America now ranks 10th in the percentage of young adults with a college degree.
- The national median graduation rate at America’s public four-year institutions for first-time, full-time students is barely higher than 50%. Just 20.5% of our students at public two-year schools graduate within four years.
- Approximately 90% of the jobs in the fastest-growing occupations require some level of postsecondary education and training.
The U.S. Chamber’s Plan to Improve Our Nation’s Education and Workforce Systems
Require a Quality, Rigorous, and Well-Rounded K–12 Educational System:
- Promote the use of student data for accountability.
- Support college and career ready standards, including the common core, that prepare all students.
- Provide real choices and options for students and parents.
Increase Postsecondary Completion Rates Among All Students:
- Improve public accountability by requiring postsecondary institutions to provide clear and accurate information on the true costs of their programs and the performance of their students.
- Encourage continued private sector investment and innovation in higher education.
Train Workers for Jobs That Meet the Actual Needs of Employers:
- Collect accurate, timely information on industry and labor market trends to ensure that job recruitment and training systems meet the needs of employers.
- Eliminate redundant and overlapping federal job training programs and give state and local policymakers flexibility in using funds.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Comprehensive immigration reform is an opportunity to improve our global competitiveness, attract and retain the world’s best talent and the workers we need, secure our borders, and keep faith with America’s legacy as an open and welcoming society. We need a lawful, rational, and workable immigration system that secures our borders, provides the workers we need at all skill levels, and protects the rights of citizens, businesses, the undocumented, and those legally pursuing citizenship. Comprehensive immigration reform must address four key components:
- Secure borders – Ensure that people and commerce flow smoothly, efficiently, and lawfully through our nation’s ports and across our borders.
- Work visa programs – Revise our laws to welcome needed labor and talent into our economy in both low-skilled and high-skilled jobs.
- A workable, reliable national employee verification system.
- Legalization - Provide a path out of the shadows for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who live in the United States today, with strict conditions.
INFOGRAPHIC: The Truth About H-1B Visas
|POLICY RESOURCES||EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE EXPERTS|