New Braunfels Tour Featured Image
© New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce
Chambers of Commerce across the country have a unique challenge - to protect and promote the local business community and support their needs as they face the nation's workforce challenges. The New Braunfels Chamber in Texas reflects on what worked for them over the past year of actively working to build a community system that would solve for some of those challenges and gives us four lessons learned in the progress.
Innovations in Early Ed
© 2018 Getty Images
We often think of the use of technology in early education as detrimental to child development. Yet, the reality is that technological innovations have an incredibly valuable role to play in the classroom. By looking at the technology readily available in the world today, AEL, Wonderschool, and ELL are paving the way for the next breakthrough innovations in early childhood education and care.
FutureProofing - UpSkill Houston
© 2018 Getty Images
In order to stay globally competitive, Houston’s industries needed to attract, train, and hire workers into technical careers that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree. To address the skills gap, Greater Houston Partnership— a group of 1,200 companies in the 11 county Houston region—took on the responsibility of retraining workers and strengthening the talent pipeline.
A New Lens for the Aging Workforce
© 2018 Getty Images
For hiring managers to attract top talent, they must view the aging workforce through a new lens. Today, we consider those 65+ to be “older” and less skilled or capable. But we must shift our perspective on age. The average life expectancy for a man is 80 years old, and for a woman the average is 85 years. A 50-year-old is no longer a “senior.” 
Above the Fold - Pledge to the American Worker
© U.S. Chamber of Commerce
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.
FutureProofing - PNC
© Provided by FreeEnterprise.com
How do you pitch giving back as good business? And how do you make a financial services company care—really care—about making a dent in early childhood education, an issue that doesn’t show up anywhere on the balance sheet? These were the questions that the leaders of the PNC Foundation had to answer if PNC was going to play a huge role in improving early childhood education in the communities they serve. The research was clear and irrefutable. The benefits of quality early childhood education are not only social, but economic, with a benefit as high as $16 for every dollar invested. And today’s preschoolers are tomorrow’s workforce.
The Future of Training at Honeywell
© Honeywell
Companies, like those last night at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation reception on Building the Workforce of the Future, understand that within their walls lies a tremendous amount of institutional knowledge and human life experience. Last night we saw two companies, Honeywell and Toyota, who aren’t afraid to dip a toe in the water of the future of training. They are transforming the learning experience for their workforce by leveraging a combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
FutureProofing - Wyoming Machine
© Provided by FreeEnterprise.com
The co-owner of the Wyoming Machine sheet metal company in Stacy, Minnesota that makes armored Humvees, steel spokes and other manufactured parts, Tapani posted an ad to fill a production job at their plant. Two months later she didn’t get a single applicant. Hiring skilled welders and laser operators was already tough. And in the manufacturing space winning the heated competition for good workers could mean the difference between profitability and closing the door. The American Welding Society anticipates a shortage of about 400,000 operators by 2024. But Tapani and Wyoming didn’t take the bad news laying down.
Building the Workforce of the Future
© U.S. Chamber of Commerce
On Monday, the U.S. Chamber revealed a new art installation, “Building the Workforce of the Future,” showcasing some of America’s leading employers in workforce development efforts. These employers are: PNC, The Home Depot, IBM, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, the Greater Houston Partnership, Wyoming Machine, and Novelis. The display illustrates the work of these companies, across the four phases of the nation’s talent pipeline, to close the skills gap and cultivate a highly-trained workforce of tomorrow.

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