SOURCE: Council on Competitiveness

April 30, 2008 12:00 ET

Council on Competitiveness Calls for National Workforce Skills Agenda

New Report Presents Strategic Roadmap to Compete in the Global Skills Race

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - Today the Council on Competitiveness joined with Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) to convene a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill to urge policymakers to set a national agenda to equip Americans with the skills needed to compete globally. The briefing was in conjunction with the release of the Council's latest report, "Thrive: The Skills Imperative," which calls for America to leverage untapped opportunities, particularly in the service economy.

The challenges posed by globalization, technological change and volatile financial markets require new workforce strategies that prioritize around skills that are not easily offshored, difficult to replicate and quicken the pace of innovation. According to the report, middle-skilled jobs represent the largest number of job openings in the United States, but have critical shortages.

"A skilled workforce is at the heart of the country's economy and will determine our future growth. Strengthening our workers' skills is critical to creating good-paying jobs here at home and thriving in a global economy," said Senator Baucus. "The Council on Competitiveness makes a compelling case for a national skills imperative that should guide policymakers as these issues are debated on Capitol Hill."

The report also urges policymakers and Americans to abandon the stereotypes of low-skill, low-wage jobs in the service economy. More than three-quarters of all jobs in the United States are in the service economy and are driving demand for more complex skills set, including: problem solving, communications, entrepreneurship, computational analysis, and collaboration. There needs to be a new emphasis on supporting innovation in service industries and developing interdisciplinary skills.

"Competing for the future means it is time to get serious about figuring out how to create a skills advantage for American workers and companies," said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness. "We need new strategies for success that will ensure that America's next generations can compete successfully and enjoy a rising standard of living."

Today's briefing was part of the Council's Compete 2.0 series that will examine the competitiveness challenges in the areas of workforce skills, manufacturing, financial services, health care, and infrastructure. These studies are a follow-up to the Council's groundbreaking report, "Innovate America®," which was part of the National Innovation Initiative.

ABOUT THE COUNCIL ON COMPETITIVENESS -- The Council on Competitiveness is the only group of corporate CEOs, university presidents and labor leaders committed to the future prosperity of all Americans and enhanced U.S. competitiveness in the global economy through the creation of high-value economic activity in the United States.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jennifer Carr
    Council on Competitiveness
    T (202) 969-3405
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