President Gore Leads Training Initiatives for the 21st
Karen Mantyla, CDE
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.
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
to Learning Is the Goal
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.
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.
in 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 greater success.
Credit and Executive Memorandum Announced
President 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.
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.
old saying, "knowledge is power" is not old. Itís the
mantra for the 21st century.
Mantyla, 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