This is the last of 3 posts sharing highlights and next steps from our Nov. 8 CEO Summit, titled “Post-Election Forecast: What’s Next for Business Leaders.“ The first post covered tax reform, and the second covered workplace wellness strategies. Today’s post covers workforce development strategies, part of our Economic Development & Jobs Initiative.
Help Wanted: Business Leadership Needed to Bridge the Skills Gap
Despite persistent unemployment at both the state and federal level, a growing gap in education and skills has left countless jobs unfilled. Now is the time for business to step in and provide leadership, said Kip Hollister, CEO of Hollister, and the co-chair of the Alliance Economic Development & Jobs Initiative. Kip presented several strategies (slides below) and then led a lively breakout discussion of how the Alliance can work to better align workforce training with industry demands and bridge the gap for the benefit of our economy and our society.
At the federal level, the Alliance supports the long-overdue reauthorization of both the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Workforce Investment Act. Together, these federal laws lay the foundation for education and job training in this country, and must be updated to reflect workforce skills and competencies demanded by the global economy.
At the state level:
- Three Alliance members now serve on community college boards as a result of our work to reform the community college system.
- Alliance leaders are now exploring ways to work within their companies to establish internships and mentorships that provide prospective workers with meaningful experience outside of the classroom.
- The Alliance will hold a webinar on internship programs.
- The Alliance will organize an Alliance Speaker’s Bureau that brings business leaders together with schools and youth organizations.
Tell us what you think and how you’d like to be involved in this effort below, or contact Kelly Bovio atkbovio@AllianceBL.org or 617-338-5038 x404.