At today’s White House Upskill Summit, the Administration announced new steps to help realize the full potential of America’s workforce by empowering workers with the education and training they need to develop new skills and earn higher wages. Over 100 leading employers, who employ more than 5 million workers made concrete commitments to empower front-line workers across their businesses, in partnership with 30 national labor unions, and accelerated by new innovative data and tools. During his State of the Union address earlier this year, the President launched a new Upskill Initiative, calling on businesses to help workers of all ages earn a shot at better, higher-paying jobs, even if they do not have a higher education. The commitments announced today already represent significant action and progress since the President’s January call to action.
What They’re Saying: Businesses are Ready to Join the President to UpSkill America
Lindsay Holst January 26, 2015 01:24 PM EDT
In his State of the Union address and again at Boise State days later, the President called on more employers to adopt or expand measures to help workers gain the skills and credentials to advance into better paying jobs – including by expanding registered apprenticeships, increasing uptake of tuition benefit programs that pay for a worker to complete their college education, offering on-the-job training for career progression, and increasing access to technology-enabled learning tools.
Tonight, I’m also asking more businesses to follow the lead of companies like CVS and UPS, and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships — opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs even if they don’t have a higher education.
– President Obama, State of the Union Address, January 20, 2015
This initiative to Upskill America includes important steps by employeers, educators, and others in the private sector. That’s why more than 30 employers are already answering the President’s call to grow apprenticeships, support thousands of workers to earn a college degree for free while they are working, and providing a clear path upward for employeers who develope and demonstrate critical skills in the field. It’s also why President Obama is calling on Congress to invest over $2 billion to expand registered apprenticeships and spread high-quality training programs.
Leading Employers Commit to Boost Worker Education, Job Training to Expand Economic Opportunity for 24 Million American Frontline Workers
April 24, 2015 upskillamerica.org
Washington, DC, April 24, 2015 – A White House Summit will convene today to address the critical need expand economic opportunity for low-wage workers and develop a more skilled workforce. At the same time, top U.S. business and workforce leadership in the UpSkill America partnership will announce new commitments to bolster their investment in frontline employee education and training.
Launched in January, UpSkill America is a coalition of business, labor, education, workforce training, and human resource organizations leading a national movement to provide the 24 million American workers stuck in low-skill jobs the opportunity to gain the education and training they need to move into higher-skill roles. The UpSkill America network’s collective membership includes hundreds of employers and labor partnerships representing millions of workers across the country.
UpSkill America partners played an integral role in bringing together the diverse group of 150 employers, labor leaders, non-profits, educators and technology innovators at the White House Upskilling Summit today. Together, these organizations are leading the way in providing more workers with stepping stones to advance on a career path and into the middle class.
New upskilling efforts unveiled at the summit include one hundred employers expanding access to apprenticeships and on-the-job training, as well as thirty national and local labor unions and non-profit groups working with employers to expand access to best practice training strategies. The focus of these efforts will center on industries like retail and hospitality and in small businesses that employ millions of low-wage workers. New data and tools for workers and employers were also released, among them:
- UpSkill America launched a new resource on its website for employers who want to do more to help strengthen existing or jumpstart new upskilling initiatives: A GUIDE TO UPSKILLING AMERICA’S FRONTLINE WORKERS: A Handbook for Employers, created by Deloitte Consulting in partnership with The Aspen Institute.
- The Role of Business in Promoting Educational Attainment: A National Imperative A new report from the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) highlighting how U.S. companies are boosting employee education in Detroit, Memphis, New York City, and Miami. The publication features policies, practices, and partnerships among companies like CVS Health and FedEx, colleges, local governments and economic development organizations. The report also details key challenges that employers face in helping improve their workers skill sets.
- Talent Sustainability Report: The CHRO View From the Front Lines of the War on Talent A new survey from HR Policy Foundation which provides a candid assessment from human resource executives at America’s major employers on the challenges they face in recruiting skilled millennials and keeping baby boomers productive in the workplace.
“Businesses have a vital role to play in expanding the talent pipeline in our country,” said John Colborn, director of the Aspen Institute’s Skills for America’s Future, which is facilitating the work of UpSkill America. “UpSkill America is committed to sharing best practices, providing resources like new data and tools for employers to help enhance their workforce development practices and move the needle on addressing the national workforce skill shortage.”