Closing the skills gap

Jul 17th, 2014

U.S. Chamber advocates for standards

With all of the effort that the Chamber is undertaking to help support local busi­ness in terms of workforce development, it is both comforting and scary to see that we are not alone.

The following information can be found on the US Chamber of Commerce’s website, www.uschamber.com, under “Issues” and “Education”: 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 while 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 that are realigned 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.