Dozens of influential leaders from some of the country’s best known companies attended a meeting of the employer-led Business Champions Supporting Credential Completion (Business Champions) initiative, administered by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Held on May 10, 2017 at Business Champions member Bright Horizons’ offices in Boston, the meeting covered a range of topics, but focused on improving retention through education, including apprenticeships and enhancing career mobility.
“Top leaders from companies around the country are working together to continue to drive our workforce into the next decade,” said CAEL President and CEO Pamela Tate. “At CAEL, we’re constantly reminded that in the next decade, more than half of all American jobs will require employees with postsecondary credentials, and we are delighted that so many companies are embracing this initiative.”
Funded by Lumina Foundation, Business Champions includes leading companies across the United States representing a wide variety of sectors from agriculture to health care to retail. Through the initiative members share programs and best practices that encourage credential completion and demonstrate how this commitment helps their businesses grow and prosper. This meeting provided opportunities for participants to share case studies describing successful business/higher-ed partnerships involving Business Champions’ companies.
Increasing postsecondary credential achievement is critical to keeping the country competitive. A study by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that the nation is currently on track, by 2020, to have a shortage of 5 million workers with postsecondary credentials. In addition, a 2014 survey by Manpower Group showed that 40 percent of U.S. employers are reporting difficulties filling positions, with skilled trade positions being the hardest jobs to fill.
“We have a skills supply and demand problem that is hurting businesses and our economic growth, and we must build and nurture a next-generation workforce and push for more adults to attain industry-recognized credentials and college degrees needed for tomorrow’s jobs,” said Tate. “We are excited to be working with so many talented professionals who understand the challenge, and look forward to helping solve this problem.”