White House Launches “Skills for America’s Future”

At a meeting before the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) yesterday, President Obama announced a new initiative, Skills for America’s Future, which focuses on improving industry partnerships with community colleges to ensure that students obtain the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the workforce.

President Obama said, “We want to make it easier to join students looking for jobs with businesses looking to hire. We want to put community colleges and employers together to create programs that match curricula in the classroom with the needs of the boardroom. Skills for America’s Future would help connect more employers, schools, and other job training providers, and help them share knowledge about what practices work best. The goal is to ensure there are strong partnerships between growing industries and community college or training programs in every state in the country.”

To reach these goals, the President has asked members of PERAB to reach out to business and industry and ask them to partner with their local community colleges. The following businesses have already committed to being partners:

  • Accenture
  • Gap, Inc.
  • McDonalds
  • Pacific Gas and Electric
  • United Technologies

The goals of this initiative will help make the United States number one in terms of college graduates by 2020, by ensuring that 5 million community college students graduate and earn certificates by the end of the decade. Skills for America’s Future will be housed at the Aspen Institute, and more information can be found at www.skillsforamerica.org.

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