March 22, 2011

Across the Great Divide: Perspectives of CEOs and College Presidents on America's Higher Education and Skills Gap

Across the Great Divide Cover Image

A great divide has emerged in the United States between the education and skills of the American workforce and the needs of the nation’s employers. Many of those looking for work do not have the skills required by companies looking to hire—resulting in high unemployment even as businesses desperately seek new talent. If our nation fails to bridge this gap, we will risk our ability to compete effectively on the global stage.

Americans have long valued providing more access to higher education, but today the realities of global competition have put a new premium on college degrees and credentials. To assemble the workforce the nation needs to thrive, policymakers, educators, and businesses will need to collaborate to build more paths for students to climb the ladder to success. Already, businesses and educators around the country are engaging in the sort of reforms required to bridge the great divide. But much more needs to be done to educate more Americans and fulfill the promise of our nation.