President Gore Leads Training Initiatives for the 21st
By Karen Mantyla,
said there is no job security anymore? Not in the traditional sense,
thatís for sure. "Skills will be the new source of security
for workers in the 21st Century," said Vice President
Al Gore as he convened a summit today on "21st Century
Skills for 21st Century Jobs." http://www.vpskillsummit.org.
Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman and Secretary of Commerce William
Daley also participated.
The Vice Presidentís
Summit originated from George Washington University in Washington,
DC and was broadcast via satellite to over 1,000 locations throughout
the United States. This forum of business, labor, government, academic
leaders and learners exchanged ideas and new initiatives to foster
the growth and development of lifelong learning for all Americans.
There was even a way to attend if you could not leave your desk!
The forum was available by cybercast and allowed millions of people
to access the information and ideas exchanged across the country.
competitiveness and the prosperity of our people in a changing economy
depend increasingly on high-skill, high-wage jobs," said Vice
President Gore. "Realizing our potential will require investing
in education and learning for all of our people throughout their
Learning Is the Goal
The Vice President
had some hard facts and new initiatives to help all Americans acquire
new skills and knowledge. "What we know today will not be adequate
for meeting the challenges for tomorrow," he said. "Lifelong
learning is more than just a phrase. Seventy-five percent of the
workers today will most likely be working in the year 2010."
What they will need is the ability to acquire new knowledge and
skills for job requirements that have not yet been defined, he explained.
Access to learning must be the goal in order to provide equal learning
opportunities for everyone.
One fifth of
the manufacturers today canít expand because employees donít have
the right skills. However, for every 10% invested in employee education,
business and industry sees an 8.6% productivity gain! Thatís 3 times
the amount of usual return on capital investments.
lifelong learning will help Americans and provide a strategic resource
of skilled workers to meet the ever-changing business challenges
and priorities. And, springboard to increased profitability and
the ability to be truly competitive. If one company invests in its
employees through skill development and education and the other
doesnít, it becomes pretty obvious as to which one will achieve
and Executive Memorandum Announced
Gore announced a 10 percent tax credit for those employers who provide
Basic Education and Literacy programs in their organizations, and
which also include English as a 2nd Language.
He also announced
that an Executive Memorandum was being written focusing on job skills
in the federal workforce with the use of technologies. We are going
to reinvent the learning environment to ensure that the workforce
receives the skills training they need, when and where they need
it, he said.
the summit, leaders and learners alike stressed the fact that no
one can do this alone. Partnerships between government, industry
and academia must be formed and strengthened on a continuous basis.
Creative ways of sharing skills, knowledge and methods can be the
cornerstone to making it all happen. Labor leaders John Sweeney,
President of the AFLCIO, and George Becker, President of the Steelworkers
Union, unanimously approved the allocation of time and money dedicated
to preparing workers to effectively meet the challenges and opportunities
in the 21st century.
The old saying,
"knowledge is power" is not old. Itís the mantra for the
CDE, a member of the Federal Communicators Network, is Editor of
Distance Learning News, the Official Publication of the Federal
Government Distance Learning Association. You may reach her at QuietPower@aol.com.