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.