Education & Workforce | Page 7 | Business Roundtable

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What is Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

More Than Leaders. Leadership.

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote a thriving economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.

About BRT

As business leaders representing every sector of the economy, Business Roundtable members know that the American economy thrives when U.S. workers have the levels of education and training needed to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our country needs a world-class, skilled workforce to lead in global innovation, ensure future economic growth and drive job creation.

Unfortunately, the U.S. skills gap is real and growing. According to a Business Roundtable member survey, 94 percent of CEOs report that skills gaps are problematic for their companies. This talent gap affects all skill levels – from entry level to the highly technical.

More must be done now to strengthen the education and training pipeline serving youth and working adults so that individuals have the skills needed to be prepared to work and build sustainable career paths.

Business Roundtable Letter on H.R. 5, the Student Success Act

I am writing to offer our views on H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, which is scheduled to be marked up before the House Education and Workforce Committee on February 11, 2015.

College and Career Readiness Is Top Priority for CEOs

Business Roundtable today released its principles for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization and called on Congress and the President to create a bipartisan bill to update and improve K-12 education programs to ensure all high school graduates can succeed in college and careers.

Coalition Letter on ESEA Reauthorization

Dear Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Scott and Other Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce:

Northrop Grumman CEO Named Vice Chair of Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee

Business Roundtable Chairman Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc., today announced the selection of Wes Bush, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Northrop Grumman Corporation, to serve as Vice Chair of the Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee. Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, is Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee.

Letter from Business and Education Groups on Importance of Annual Testing

Dear Senators Alexander and Murray: We are very pleased that both the House and Senate have expressed a strong desire to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the current version of the Elementary And Secondary Education Act (ESEA), early in this congressional session.

The Skills Gap: Business Leaders Offers Experience -- and Solutions

The skills gap is not a new issue for Business Roundtable, our member CEOs or this blog. I have written extensively on it, and CEOs have talked at length about it.

The Economy, Taxes, Immigration, Education, Gas Prices -- and More! Business Leaders on CNBC's Squawk Box

CNBC's morning news and interview program, Squawk Box, set up operations this morning in conjunction with Business Roundtable's final quarterly meeting of the year, speaking to a dozen CEOs. The topics covered the full range of the economy, and all sectors were well represented.

As always, CNBC also did a great and job posting clips from their video interviews. A round-up:

CEOs Say Skills Gap Threatens U.S Economic Future

The skills gap is real and is a significant problem, the CEOs of major U.S. corporations said today at an event in Washington hosted by Business Roundtable and Change the Equation. The finding is part of a survey of the memberships on U.S. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Skills, conducted earlier this year.

Improved Teacher Training Will Help America Compete

Business Roundtable welcomes the Department of Education's draft rule for its focus on preparing teachers for low-performing schools.

Closing America's Skills Gap

As America’s economy climbs back from the deepest recession in more than half a century, it faces a new challenge: Businesses cannot find enough employees with the right knowledge, skills and training to fill critical jobs. This “skills gap” is a major reason the U.S. economy has not reached its full potential predicted before the recession.1 Moreover, the problem likely will persist unless significant policy changes occur.

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Committee Priorities

Improve U.S. K-12 Education

A persistent complaint by employers is that many high school and college graduates – as well as some adult workers – lack foundational skills needed in the 21st century workplace. These include, for example, analyzing complex texts, adapting to new technologies and problem solving.

Rigorous academic standards in K-12 English language arts and mathematics are critical to ensuring all students graduate from high school ready for college and the workforce. Business Roundtable supports the full adoption and implementation of high-quality education standards and aligned assessments to raise the performance of U.S. students. Business Roundtable also supports policies and programs that ensure all students read on grade level by the end of third grade.

Align Individual Skills with Employer Needs

Businesses increasingly have difficulty finding employees with the knowledge and training required to meet their workforce needs. This includes both technical skills – such as aptitude in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – and applied skills – such as leadership, problem-solving and communications abilities. This misalignment of skills exacerbates unemployment and stifles economic growth.

Business Roundtable believes a multifaceted solution, involving public and private players, is needed to address this skills mismatch problem. As a start, employers must send a clear, direct “demand signal” of the foundational attributes employees must demonstrate to succeed in the workplace; industry needs to sort out the large and chaotic world of industry credentials; state workforce boards and educational and training centers must understand job needs in each region and focus on helping students acquire the skills needed to fill those jobs; and human resources practices must improve across industry to identify competencies gained through valid credential programs and relevant experience.

Key Federal Legislation

Business Roundtable will continue to advocate for federal legislation that authorizes programs and policies that improve educational outcomes and help close the skills gap, including reauthorization of America COMPETES, the Carl D. Perkins Act and the Higher Education Act.