Closing the skills gap: Grant to help build competitive workforce

12/12/2006


Washington, DC —A half-million dollar grant to a manufacturing organization seeks to bring higher education opportunities to more people. The Lumina Foundation awarded $538,000 to the Manufacturing Institute/Center for Workforce Success (the research and education arm of the National Association of Manufacturers ) and its partners for Business Champions , an initiative to catalyze business leadership to support policies that expand educational opportunities aimed at building a competitive U.S. workforce. The efforts could lead to smarter designs and implementations of instrumentation, motors and drives, and other automation technologies.

Business Champions will work with the American Association of Community Colleges and the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce to promote policies that improve access, affordability, and success for postsecondary students, and expand opportunities to prepare for good jobs to people of all ages and backgrounds.

"It's a critical time for business leaders to speak out and support efforts to improve greater student access to and success in college," said John Engler, NAM president. "Globally engaged employers in America are in the fight of their lives for skilled talent. With the baby boom generation retiring, the shortage of skilled employees for today's high tech workplace is growing worse every year."

According to Martha D. Lamkin, Lumina Foundation president and CEO, the U.S. has already lost its position as the world's most educated nation and that reports suggest the low skill level of the American workforce is a real and pressing problem. Business leaders, policymakers, higher education officials, and employers are expected to work together with these organizations to make higher education more affordable and align course offerings more closely with the demands of 21st century employers.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel , senior editor





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