U.S. Chamber Highlights Need to Educate Next Generation of Workers

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 7:00pm

Releases Report on Career and Technical Education

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) released a new report on career and technical education (CTE) today, aimed at improving the college and career readiness of the nation's future workforce. "The Skills Imperative" offers strategies for addressing the growing skills gap between jobs and the future workforce.

"Career and technical education is a key element to this country's economic success," said Arthur Rothkopf, the U.S. Chamber's senior vice president and executive vice president of ICW. "For America to remain an economic superpower we must reform our education system to ensure that every child, upon graduation, is ready for either postsecondary or career education."

Some postsecondary education or training, but not necessarily a bachelor's degree, will be required for 90% of the fastest growing jobs and over 60% of all new jobs in the coming decade. As outlined in the report, the integration of CTE into the education system, along with core academic courses, will be necessary to adequately prepare students for the challenges of their postsecondary training programs. The report also outlines critical next steps to advance CTE including data requirements and initiatives, high standards, integration of academic courses, and teacher preparation.

"The business community is committed to working with all stakeholders on reforming our education system," said Rothkopf. "The stakes are too high for business and our economy if we fail."

"The Skills Imperative" is available on ICW's website, www.uschamber.com/icw. The report is the first in a series of publications from ICW that focuses on the importance of career and technical education to help Americans get jobs and stay competitive in the global market.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce—the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region—believes that improving the education system in the United States is necessary to provide a strong foundation for both U.S. competitiveness and for individuals to succeed in our rapidly changing world. We are committed to working with all stakeholders on this essential task.

# # #