Nothing is more important to America’s economic future than the development of a workforce with the skills and knowledge required to compete in the global economy. That development starts in the classroom and extends the length of a working person’s career. The reality, however, is that America’s K-12 education system is not adequately preparing students for careers or postsecondary education, and worker training programs are not, in many cases, teaching the skills demanded in the marketplace. The result is a persistent skills gap that is impacting the nation’s competitiveness. In an effort to close that gap, the U.S. Chamber advocates for rigorous academic standards are that arealigned with college and career, accountability for students’ academic achievement, support for teachers,and options for parents and students. The Chamber also supports policies to increase college access and success, affordability, and transparency. To ensure that transitioning or unemployed workers acquire the skills they need to succeed, the Chamber supports streamlined, local worker training programs that are based on the needs of employers and accurate and timely local labor market data. In addition, the U.S. Chamber supports the employer community by improving its engagement and partnership in education and workforce reforms.
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Despite leading the nation five consecutive times on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), too many Massachusetts students are not graduating from high school prepared to join the knowledge-based workforce upon which the Commonwealth’s future prosperity depends. That's why the Massachusetts business community overwhelmingly supported the adoption of the Common Core State Standards four years ago.
Shortly after I started hiring, I was introduced by one of my larger clients to my local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) in Florence, South Carolina. I have not regretted it for a moment. But, unfortunately, WIBs in other communities are lacking, and Congress must fix them.
The Department of Education released the contents of the agency’s $68.6 billion dollar portion of the President’s 2015 budget proposal this week, and with it outlined the initiatives it plans to focus on in the coming year.
Fifteen years ago, civic, religious, and business leaders launched a job training program. It's been a roaring success.