The Importance of Business-Education Partnerships
Why educators and business leaders must collaborate to build a highly skilled workforce
Thomas J. Gentzel and Glenn Marshall
In just three years, the gap between trained workers and job openings could threaten our nation’s economic security, reduce individual prosperity and create larger income gaps, if a 2020 forecast by the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes to fruition. This is a cause for concern but it is not a future written in stone–we know how to solve these problems, we can avoid the political fray, but we do have to decide to move.
The gap between trained workers and job openings could threaten our nation’s economic security, reduce individual prosperity and create larger income gaps.
Business leaders from a variety of sectors dependent on a skilled workforce and education leaders representing educators, parents and local policymakers recently participated in a summit to discuss our challenges and to try to find a better path forward. We’ve shared a vision for our children but rarely engaged each other to jointly problem-solve. The stakes are different now. We agreed we need to work together at a higher level and in a more cooperative manner to support our children and our communities.
The rapidly changing economic landscape demands a more adept and knowledgeable workforce. While the jobs of the future—many of which do not yet exist—are impossible to predict, people will need the ability to think critically, problem-solve and possess a higher level of communication and computation skills so they can adapt to fast-moving environments and develop new skills as the workplace shifts.
Thomas J. Gentzel is executive director and CEO of the National School Boards Association and chairman of the board of directors of the Learning First Alliance.
Glenn Marshall is board member of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence and a retired executive of Newport News Shipbuilding
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