What do you love to do? It’s a question that drives career planning nationwide. That seemingly harmless probe is the assumption behind interest-only assessments, which have historically dominated career guidance efforts. However, these assessments are failing employers and students. What would happen if you measured that person's aptitude?
The need for quality talent is so great that those who excel at unlearning, learning, and reinventing themselves have a higher probability of success for overcoming common biases including race, gender, age, and academic background. Finding employees and candidates who have the ability and initiative to constantly reinvent themselves is the goal of every company today, though it isn’t easy.
Congress last week passed and the president today signed legislation reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides important funding for programs focused on the academic, career, and technical skills development for high school and higher education students. Highlights of the reauthorization include new opportunities for partnerships between employers and educators to improve student preparation for in-demand jobs, measures that improve alignment with other workforce development programs, and increased program accountability.
Last week the administration launched what it termed “the next step” in its economic agenda: a sweeping, administration-wide effort to equip the American workforce to succeed in the modern economy. To propel this initiative forward, it is seeking advice and cooperation from leaders in business and education. Our message at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is simple: Count us in. We look forward to continuing our work with the administration on this issue of critical importance to the entire business community.
Throughout the day’s conversations, several major issues were acknowledged and summit participants and attendees discussed their current and future plans to work together to tackle these challenges. Where the morning portion of the summit centered on the challenges experienced and identified by government and military officials, the afternoon session addressed how all sectors share similar challenges in the talent marketplace and how many corporate solutions could be applied to inspire real change for the military and our veterans.
Since the fall of 2017, thousands of students across the country have completed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s STEM Scholars digital program. Throughout the course, students engage with content that reinforces key STEM skills and learn how STEM careers connect to their interests and daily lives. See how the program highlights exciting science, technology, engineering, and math challenges from a connected, technology-fueled world.
Over the past five years or so, workforce data has been sending a strong message: there is a difference between the expectation that employers have of the skills and competencies that a new employee will have on day one and what the employee is actually capable of doing. The only way to ensure skills translate into successful career paths is to provide students and their families with exposure to and awareness of the jobs and career paths available across industries right in their own community.
By working to close the gender gap in STEM-related fields and foster a long overdue leadership pipeline in Dallas, the Girl Scouts STEM Center of Excellence is a shining example of the positive educational outcomes that happen when businesses engage with their communities.