2011 Annual Report
Over the past few years, America has experienced an unprecedented and unrelenting economic downturn. A nine-plus percent unemployment rate has become the “new normal”; however; there are jobs to be had. While more than 14 million Americans are unemployed, more than 3 million jobs are waiting to be filled.
The problem is simple, but the solution is not. Many Americans are simply not qualified for the available jobs. More than half of business leaders say they have trouble recruiting nonmanagerial employees with the right skills, training, and education. By 2020, it is estimated that 123 million American jobs will require advanced skills but only 50 million people will be qualified to fill them.
The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is dedicated to improving education and workforce training for all Americans by working with its business membership to ensure that the American workforce is adequately prepared to fill the jobs needed for the nation’s prosperity in the 21st century.
Throughout 2011, ICW educated and engaged business leaders on a host of education and workforce issues, including education reform, accountability, and transparency. Through its events and publications ICW brought experts together to discuss numerous education topics, including the status of “Race to the Top,” Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, and innovation in higher education.
As we look ahead, ICW is committed to continue its work engaging the business community in education reform and increasing awareness around the need for a skilled workforce. The business community is a critical partner and if informed and committed, can be the catalyst for reform.
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The Central Florida Education Summit will be hosted by the Central Florida Partnership and sponsored by the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, in partnership with the National Chamber Foundation, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, and the Central Florida Public School Board Coalition.
U.S. News STEM Solutions 2013 will bring together business, education and government leaders who have long recognized the need to connect the dots between STEM education and careers. Adding to last year’s successful conference format, the second edition will give more dedicated time for these leaders to interact and collaborate.