Business-Led Network Welcomes White House Support for Workforce Development | Business Roundtable

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Industry Collaborative Offering Solutions to Improve Economic Opportunity for Americans 

Washington — July 22, 2014 — The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (the National Network) today welcomed the Administration’s latest workforce initiatives, noting that the focus now should be on the adoption of promising, business-led solutions designed to prepare students and workers for the modern economy.

“Business leaders welcome the administration’s commitment to preparing Americans for the workforce,” said John Engler, President of Business Roundtable and co-leader of the National Network. “We want to create more economic prosperity for Americans. A comprehensive approach to better connect business with education and job training is desperately needed. This is a national priority.”

Representing 75 percent of the future jobs in the United States, leading industry associations have come together to help individuals understand and gain the skills they need to enter into and advance in the jobs of today and tomorrow. Focused on a practical how-to approach, the National Network recently released “Common Employability Skills,” a guide that describes the foundational skills all employees need to be prepared for a job.

The National Network also released a model of a 21st century competency-based apprenticeship called “Learning While Working,” which guides employers who want to create an apprenticeship program to train new workers and help current workers advance in their jobs. These tools are part of a practical, business-led five-point plan to put America to work that includes clearly defining the skills people need to succeed in the workplace and offering companies how-to models for better recruiting, training and advancing their employees.

“Cross-industry collaboration is key to aligning the working and learning worlds,” said Parminder K. Jassal, founding executive director of ACT Foundation, which co-leads the National Network. “To achieve this alignment, we are focusing on solutions to the common challenges that all employers, all workers and all learners face, and we are already seeing great results toward the development of a new system of universal credentials.”

The National Network represents major business sectors and is funded through a collaborative partnership of Business Roundtable (BRT), ACT Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Lumina Foundation. Members include leaders in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, energy, construction, hospitality, transportation and information technology sectors. They represent the source of nearly 75 percent of projected U.S. job growth through 2020 (an estimated 30 million new jobs). More information on the National Network can be found here.

Members of the National Network of Business and Industry Associations include: 

  • Aerospace Industries Association
  • American Health Information Management Association
  • American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
  • American Land Title Association and ALTA’s Land Title Institute
  • American Moving and Storage Association
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • American Public Transportation Association
  • American Welding Society
  • Center for Energy Workforce Development
  • CompTIA
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • Home Builders Institute
  • Interstate Renewable Energy Council
  • The Manufacturing Institute
  • National Apartment Association Education Institute
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research
  • National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills
  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
  • National Retail Federation Foundation
  • Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute
  • TechAmerica/TechAmerica Foundation
  • Western Association of Food Chains