A sound economy, thriving business sector, and commitment to equal opportunity are three factors that have played a vital role in developing and maintaining the United States’ position as a world leader. We must remain committed to these factors to ensure our continued global success, and to do that, we must cultivate our greatest resource—the people who live and work here.
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In the November 2011 State of Young America poll conducted by Young Invincibles and Dēmos, half of Americans aged 18 to 34 surveyed said they expected to be worse off than their parents. Even more disconcerting, more than three-quarters of those surveyed believed that the American middle class was disappearing. The bleak moods behind these findings are unsettling at best—alarming at worst—and are underscored by the latest Center for Labor Market Studies research indicating that teen and young adult employment rates have dropped to a new post-World War II low.
High-tech manufacturing companies like Boeing are concerned about the United States’ ability to sustain its leadership role in technology and innovation. The state of American education—and even the academic rigor required to earn an engineering degree—has become a frequent talking point at the national level. Some even mistakenly theorize that our students are not up to the challenge of studying engineering, math, and science because it’s just too hard. The answer to this national crisis lies not in changing the engineering, math, and science curriculum but in changing learning environments and how these subjects are taught.
By Sean Hackbarth
By Sean Hackbarth
As if oil and gas permit restrictions on federal lands and ill-considered regulation weren’t big enough obstacles to energy development, the lack of skilled workers is also hamstringing the energy industry and our economy.
By Kelly Reynolds
We hear it every day: ‘The success or failure of our education system directly correlates to the success or failure of the U.S. economy.’ We know that learning and mastering essential skills, such as writing and mathematics, in K–12 and postsecondary schooling is crucial to landing a job and excelling in the workforce. Yet, it’s also known that American public schools are failing across the board.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, hosted a forum today with business leaders, policymakers, and education innovators to discuss how to close our country’s ongoing skills gap crisis.
One key to thriving in a competitive global economy is a properly skilled workforce that can innovate, create new products and services, and bring them to market quickly and efficiently. America remains a leader in innovation, but its workforce is falling behind. Education and workforce development systems have not kept pace with the demands of the 21st century, and we all bear the costs of this failure. American businesses spend billions of dollars each year training their employees and pour billions more into education. Despite these substantial investments, employers continue to report that too many job seekers are unqualified for modern jobs.