Skills for America's Future (Aspen Institute)

In an increasingly competitive global economy, America’s economic strength depends on the education and skills of its workers. Every worker, especially in this economy, deserves a chance to retrain and build new skills and seek the next opportunity. Yet employers remain unable to fill open positions due to a lack of skills-ready applicants ready to fill them. There is a unique opportunity to act. Under the American Graduation Initiative, the federal government is investing at unprecedented levels in training, especially at the community college level. A broad coalition of leaders in the private sector including, labor groups, philanthropists, and public officials– including the Obama Administration – have championed the role of community colleges and the role partnerships with industry can play. The private sector can build on that momentum. Building on the success and example of the Change the Equation coalition to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, Skills for America's Future will be structured as a broad umbrella under which corporations, labor unions, community colleges and others can connect, identify opportunities for leveraging and scaling effective models, and working together, have a substantially greater impact than the training efforts of individual firms or community colleges. Skills for America's Future already has the commitment of leaders, such as Penny Pritzker, Chairman/CEO, Pritzker Realty Group, and Walter Isaacson, CEO and President, Aspen Institute, to advance this effort. In addition, leading companies, including PG&E, Gap Inc, McDonald’s, and UTC, are ready to be part of Skills for America's Future and expand their efforts.

STEM Ed Initiatives: 

Initial goals for Skills for America's Future include:
- Partnering with community colleges to help achieve the goal of an additional 5 million community college degrees and certificates by 2020.
- Ensure that every state has at least one high-impact partnership between industry and community colleges.

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