Until very recently, caring for young children was considered a family, actually a woman’s, responsibility. But things are changing. The workforce of today looks quite different. Leading employers have identified this shift and recognize that acknowledging it is a winning proposition, both for their business and for America’s future. The changing nature of the workforce and shifting employee expectations provide the business community with a unique opportunity to lead the way in implementing family friendly policies that support their employees and make economic sense for the business’ bottom line.
Breaking down STEM barriers starts in the classroom, providing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning in an inclusive digital environment. And this education shouldn’t be limited to high school students. Igniting STEM interest in middle school increases girls’ STEM interest later in their education.
Adult education programs are crucial to alleviating this gap and helping all Americans achieve economic and social mobility. Educate & Elevate is a national campaign to educate America about the importance of adult education in advancing career and college readiness, and making our workforce more globally competitive.
For years, there has been a disconnect between what businesses want new employees to know before they show up for work and what the applicant pool actually knows. The TPM initiative puts employers in the driver’s seat of workforce partnerships for demand-driven workforce solutions. And it’s working for states like Houston, Kansas, and Kentucky, with success stories from Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, and Arizona soon to come.
From Baton Rouge to Grand Rapids, Austin to Atlanta, and finishing up in Frankfort last month, our 2017 five-city childcare roadshow is complete. We brought together business leaders, policy makers, advocates, and practitioners to discuss the critical role of high-quality early education and care in advancing the workforce of today, and the workforce of tomorrow. The events were a great success and in each state, an energized business community is eager and ready to take the lead in advancing this conversation in their own community.
MAGNET, an Ohio MEP that recognized the growing need for high school graduates with STEM skills in order to sustain the manufacturing economy in Ohio, created an employer-led pre-apprenticeship program aligned with the Ohio Department of Education College and Career readiness graduation standards, and partnered with local public education and local employers.
Providing affordable, accessible, and high-quality childcare options for America’s working families is one of the most effective ways we can ensure a healthy, prosperous economy.