Business and community colleges united for job-driven training

November 16, 2015

On November 9 and 10, dozens of members of Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU) joined together with their community college partners to meet with their senators and representatives. Together, we shared several bipartisan steps lawmakers could take to help employers close the skills gap. We met with representatives from the White House National Economic Council and the Department of Education to talk about how to upskill our workforce in partnership with our local community colleges. We proposed solutions such as Pell for short-term training, support for local partnerships between community colleges and industry to shape career and technical education, and greater support for work-based learning. 

We also spent a day on Capitol Hill meeting with staff from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee and the House Education and Workforce committees, visiting with our elected representatives, and attending a BLU briefing on workforce policies hosted by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), co-sponsor of the JOBS Act. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) spoke at the briefing about his recently introduced Community College to Career Fund Act” and the positive impact it would have for employers. Saying "help me help you," Franken urged employers to reach out to our senators and ask them to co-sponsor the legislation that would make it easier for employers and community colleges to work together to address the skills gap.  

Download all the materials from the fly-in here. And check out NSC's Flickr page for photos. 

Ways you can get involved:

  • Click here to urge your senators and representatives to support the JOBS Act of 2015 - legislation that would amend the Higher Education Act by expanding Pell Grant eligibility to students enrolled in short-term job training programs – including your employees. To learn more about making Pell work for employers and workers, read BLU’s Policy Brief and NSC’s Policy Brief.

Answer Senator Franken’s call, and ask your lawmakers to co-sponsor the Community College to Career Fund Act – legislation that would help business and community colleges address the skills gap in their local areas by organizing or expanding industry driven partnerships.