THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release
November 4, 1999
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE ANNOUNCES NEW PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS TO OFFER
WORKERS 21ST CENTURY SKILLS
Washington, D. C. -- Vice President Al Gore today announced new efforts by a
coalition of business, organized labor, education andgovernment to help
ensure that American workers have the skills theyneed to succeed in the 21st
Members of the 21st Century Skills Leadership Group presented theVice
President with a report embracing a common vision and recommendations for
expanding opportunities for adult learning, asking communities across the
country to consider these recommendations, anddetailing dozens of specific
actions to support their vision.
"America's competitiveness and prosperity will depend increasinglyupon
high-skill, high-wage jobs," said Vice President Al Gore. "We mustwork
together to help all of our people keep on learning throughouttheir
lifetimes and get the skills they need to succeed in the 21stcentury."
The 21st Century Skills Leadership Group, a group of leaders frombusiness,
organized labor, education, and all levels of government, wasconvened by the
Vice President in January. The Vice President asked thegroup to develop a
set of recommendations to their peers that will helpensure a prepared and
thriving workforce in the next century.
The report presented today, Skills For a New Century: A Blueprintfor
Lifelong Learning, outlines the leadership group's vision, recommendations
and initial commitments to help American businesses findmore skilled workers
and to help all adult Americans acquire the skillsthey need to succeed in a
changing economy. The report outlines fivebroad recommendations to provide
adults the skills they need and employers the skilled employees needed to
Commitments from public and private organizations outlined in thereport
- Deliver education and training that is tied to high standards,leads to
useful credentials and meets labor market needs.
- Improve access to financial resources for lifetime learning for alladult
Americas, including those in low-wage jobs.
- Promote learning at a time, place, and manner that meets workerneeds and
interests, including through the use of learning technologiesto enable
learning at home, the workplace, or elsewhere.
- Encourage and motivate adults to pursue further education andtraining and
inform them of resources available to help them do so.
- Form partnerships among a wide array of organizations andstakeholders to
support workforce development and lifelong learning foradults.
- The American Council on Education (ACE), the AFL-CIO and theNational
Association of Manufacturers will expand AEC's "College isPossible" campaign
- targeted until now primarily at young people -- toinclude an additional
focus on encouraging adults to get furthereducation and training.
- The Lila-Wallace Reader's Digest Fund, Harvard University, theNational
Council of State Directors of Adult Education, and the NationalCoalition for
Literacy will host a national literacy summit in February2000 to create an
action plan for improving basic literacy skills in order to help close the
skills gap. This summit will also be supportedby the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, AFL-CIO, American Council on Education,the National League of
Cities, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Cisco Systems, the Communications Workers of America, the U.S.Departments
of Labor and Education, and Arizona State University willdevelop an on-line
system to help retired military personnel and othersassess and improve their
information technology skills and prepare forthe high-wage, high-skill jobs
of the New Economy.
- The Communications Workers of America, GTE, the National Institutefor
Literacy and the U.S. Department of Education will launch a nationaleffort
to increase funding, community awareness, and business supportfor adult
literacy programs. As part of this effort, 21 million GTEcustomers will be
able to donate $1 per month to support literacy intheir community by
checking a box on their monthly bill.
- Based on the leadership group's recommendation, the Vice President
also announced a new initiative to assist local communities interestedin
developing and implementing community-wide strategies to help adultsget the
skills they need to succeed. This effort will supportcommunity-based
partnerships involving business, labor, education andgovernment that develop
plans focused on clear, objective, measurablegoals for adult learning and
skill development across a community.Members of this leadership group will
serve on the advisory committee for this effort, encourage the active
involvement of their peers, andwill ask communities to consider adopting
recommendations outlined inthis report. The federal interagency working
group supporting thiseffort will include the National Partnership for
Reinventing Governmentand the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor and
Full text of the Report
21st Century Skills Website