National Partnership for Reinventing Government

April 11, 2000
Contact: Sue Blumenthal
(202) 694-0087

Vice President Gore Announces 13 Partnerships to Increase 21st Century Skills

Washington, DC-Vice President Gore announced today a new initiative to advance education, skills, training and lifelong learning for adult learners through the formation of a 21st Century Skills Community Network.

"America's competitiveness and prosperity will increasingly depend upon high-skill, high-wage jobs," the Vice President said. "We must work together so Americans can continue learning throughout their lives and get the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century."

The network of 13 communities and their federal partners will use an interactive web site,, as an electronic conference center to discuss significant issues and effective strategies. The web site will be open to the public and will carry announcements when additional communities may apply as network members.

Thirteen community-based organizations have been selected as charter partners:

  1. Colorado: The Colorado Collaborative
  2. Colorado: Southeast Business Partnership
  3. Florida: The Broward Alliance
  4. Massachusetts: Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Plan for Progress
  5. New York: Broome-Tioga Workforce Investment Board
  6. New York: Network of Education and Community Organizations (NECO) and State University of New York at Plattsburgh
  7. Ohio: Columbus and Franklin County United Way/Employment Vision Council
  8. Oklahoma: Office of Workforce Development, The City of Oklahoma City
  9. Pennsylvania: The Northern Cambria Community Development Corporation
  10. South Carolina: Laurens County School-to-Work and Lifelong Learning
  11. Tennessee: The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service
  12. Texas: Greater Austin @ Work Alliance
  13. Utah, Colorado, Ute Mountain Ute, Navajo, Southern Ute: Southwest Educational Telecommunications Consortium

The core goals of the 21st Century Skills Community Network are to:

  • close the skills gap by sharing best practices and effective strategies for dramatically increasing the basic and technical skills of the American workforce;
  • support lifelong learning for all adults;
  • help more workers move into high-skill, high-wage jobs;
  • identify and eliminate barriers to success in employment, training and learning programs;
  • help communities, local agencies and government offices measure results and to collect, analyze, and use data to develop strategies to achieve results;
  • model a de-centralized, collaborative, federal/state/local partnership that gets results people care about; and
  • provide a continuous feedback system for the federal government as it creates a seamless learning and employment system for all Americans.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education will work closely with the new skills network. The network follows a January 1999 summit held by the Vice President on 21st century skills for 21st century jobs (

Launching the skills network today coincides with a National Skills Summit hosted in Washington, D.C. by Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman. The summit will combine presentations from representatives from business, labor education and training.

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