White House Summit for UpSkill America Announces: New Commitments to Boost Worker Skills; New Reports on Challenges Facing US Companies to Attract, Train and Retain Talent; New Employer Resource Guide to Upskilling Employees

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 — A White House Summit will convened to address the critical need to expand economic opportunity for low-wage workers and develop a more skilled workforce. At the same time, top U.S. business and workforce leadership in the UpSkill America partnership will announce new commitments to bolster their investment in frontline employee education and training.

Launched in January, UpSkill America is a coalition of business, labor, education, workforce training, and human resource organizations leading a national movement to provide the 24 million American workers stuck in low-skill jobs the opportunity to gain the education and training they need to move into higher-skill roles. The UpSkill America network’s collective membership includes hundreds of employers and labor partnerships representing millions of workers across the country. See full list of UpSkill America members below.

UpSkill America partners played an integral role in bringing together the diverse group of 150 employers, labor leaders, non-profits, educators and technology innovators at the White House Upskilling Summit today. Together, these organizations are leading the way in providing more workers with stepping stones to advance on a career path and into the middle class.

New upskilling efforts unveiled at the summit include one hundred employers expanding access to apprenticeships and on-the-job training, as well as thirty national and local labor unions and non-profit groups working with employers to expand access to best practice training strategies. The focus of these efforts will center on industries like retail and hospitality and in small businesses that employ millions of low-wage workers. New data and tools for workers and employers were also released, among them:

• UpSkill America launched a new resource on its website for employers who want to do more to help strengthen existing or jumpstart new upskilling initiatives: A GUIDE TO UPSKILLING AMERICA’S FRONTLINE WORKERS: A Handbook for Employers, created by Deloitte Consulting in partnership with The Aspen Institute.

• The Role of Business in Promoting Educational Attainment: A National Imperative

• A new report from the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board (CED) highlighting how U.S. companies are boosting employee education in Detroit, Memphis, New York City, and Miami. The publication features policies, practices, and partnerships among companies like CVS Health and FedEx, colleges, local governments and economic development organizations. The report also details key challenges that employers face in helping improve their workers skill sets.

• Talent Sustainability Report: The CHRO View From the Front Lines of the War on Talent
A new survey from HR Policy Foundation which provides a candid assessment from human resource executives at America’s major employers on the challenges they face in recruiting skilled millennials and keeping baby boomers productive in the workplace.

“Businesses have a vital role to play in expanding the talent pipeline in our country,” said John Colborn, director of the Aspen Institute’s Skills for America’s Future, which is facilitating the work of UpSkill America. “UpSkill America is committed to sharing best practices, providing resources like new data and tools for employers to help enhance their workforce development practices and move the needle on addressing the national workforce skill shortage.”

UpSkill America partners:

• Bay Area Council

• Business Champions

• Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships

• Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board

• HR Policy Foundation

• Small Business Majority

• The Aspen Institute Skills for America’s Future

• The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

• The National Fund for Workforce Solutions

UpSkill America’s coalition of business, education, and workforce training organizations is dedicated to helping more businesses expand our nation’s talent pipeline by: recognizing leading employers that provide expanded opportunities for their workers; promoting the widespread adoption of business practices and policies that increase economic opportunity; and cultivate the education and workforce development efforts that support and advance those initiatives. UpSkill America’s work is facilitated by the Aspen Institute Skills for America’s Future. For more information, visit www.UpSkillamerica.org