What is the Skills for America's Future Program?
Last year, President Obama launched an ambitious initiative along with the Aspen Institute, designed to bring companies together with community colleges to produce future workers that would be highly qualified and able to compete in a global market. The movement was dubbed Skills for America's Future, and it began with partnerships between industries and academia that would coordinate the training and build the skills of a qualified workforce in the United States. The initiative, according to the Aspen Institute website, would serve as a broad umbrella under which labor unions, corporations and community colleges could coordinate their efforts to train up a new generation of American workers.
- Recruiting additional leaders in the private sector to participate in the innovative training design
- Developing partnerships on a national level between corporations, community colleges and labor unions
- Providing a national voice on the importance of proper training for workers heading into positions within various industries in this country
- Sharing knowledge learned through this movement on a grander scale, with state, federal and international leaders
- Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions
- William D. Green, chairman of Accenture
- Brad Keywell, co-founder and director of Groupon, Inc.
- Nick Pinchuk, chairman and CEO of Snap-on Incorporated
- David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications
- Ellen Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation
In addition to the many players brought in to work towards the common goals of the initiative, a number of significant partnerships have been formed as well, including:
- "Boots on the Ground" – This is a collaboration designed to educate local merchants about the value of an NAM-endorsed skills certification program to their business.
- High School Pathways – This effort serves to prepare students for successful training in community college while they are still in high school.
- Career Awareness Campaign – This will be used to teach educators and students alike about the value of proper training and certification to become competitive in the global marketplace.
- Opportunities for At-Risk Youth – Students that fall into this category will see additional support and guidance through Jobs for America's Graduates.
- Next Generation Engineering Workforce – This effort is created to help students interested in the engineering field find mentors and scholarships.
- New Online Tools – These tools include a new career website known as Pipeline, which will provide real-time information on job openings and additional education and training necessary
- More money (up to $2 billion in additional funding) to train up community college students for practical careers after graduation
- Involvement by the Department of Health and Human Services to expand employment opportunities in the IT health field
- Assistance by the Department of Labor to accurately outline the skills necessary to land jobs in the manufacturing industry