Today, NAM Senior VP for Policy and Government Relations, Aric Newhouse, took part in a panel discussion on, “Strengthening the American workforce: Addressing the skills gap,” with Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Fred Humphries, Microsoft Vice President of US Government Affairs. Hosted by Center Forward, a non-partisan organization, the event focused on the need to close the skills gap in the U.S. by enacting legislation like the America Works Act. The bill, introduced by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), would modify existing federal job training programs to more effectively prepare American workers and to help manufacturers remain competitive in the global marketplace. You can check out video of the event here.
Mr. Newhouse told the audience that “manufacturers need a skilled workforce to compete in the 21st century economy. The ongoing skills gap that has left approximately 600,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled across the country directly undercuts America’s competitiveness. Policy solutions like the America Works Act give employers the confidence that the workers they hire will have the skills that fit today’s technologically advanced manufacturing. The NAM is committed to continuing its partnerships with policymakers, manufacturers, and educational institutions to deliver the workforce that will help create a manufacturing resurgence in the U.S.”
The NAM-Manufacturing Institute partnership was mentioned often, particularly the Institute’s efforts on the ground with educational groups and their initiatives like “Dream it Do It.” Mr. Newhouse added that the backbone of innovation, and the backbone of growth in manufacturing comes from the employees who make up its workforce.”
Manufacturers consistently list the skills gap as one of the most pressing issues they face and the NAM is working with policymakers to solve the problem. In doing so, we will find a solution that addresses the skills shortage in the near-term and sets the U.S. up for long-term growth.