BLU looks to the future

October 10, 2015

As the national voice of small and medium sized businesses on workforce partnerships, BLU has reached out to our employers to set priorities for the next several years.  Each of you should have received an invitation to help set those priorities by completing a survey on a number of policy areas such as:

College Aid for Current Workers – Often, full-time workers do not qualify for federal financial aid because they’re not full-time students or they are pursuing short-term certificates.

Industry-Responsive Technical Courses at Colleges and High Schools – Community colleges and high schools receive public funding to update technical education programs to prepare students for skilled jobs in local industries. Some employers believe such programs could be more industry responsive.

Supporting Companies That Train Workers On the Job – Increasingly, policymakers want to encourage more students / new workers to train on the job through apprenticeships, paid internships, temp-to-hire and other work-based learning arrangements.

Up-to-Date Reading and Math Skills for Applicants and Current Workers – Some companies find that applicants for entry-level jobs do not have the necessary reading or math skills. Others worry that current workers’ math and reading skills aren’t keeping up with changing technical demands and are preventing them from training up for higher level positions.

Integrating Immigrant Workers – Some companies have diversifying workforces with limited English proficiency or foreign-earned credentials that do not match U.S. hiring or licensing requirements. Many of these workers will not qualify for legal status or citizenship unless they learn English and/or raise their skills.

Helping Young People Get a Start – Unemployment is still disproportionately high among certain groups of teens and young adults with sub-par educations and/or limited work experience. Employers have been asked to give these young people the chance to work and learn for a period of time at their companies and in turn have sought coverage of some of their costs or risk for providing work-based learning opportunities.

Credentials – Credentials and certifications are becoming more common as a means of determining qualification for potential workers.  However, there are a proliferation of these credentials and certifications that employers may not be familiar with.

Your input on these issues is critical to set the direction of BLU.  If you have not already responded to the survey, please do so by clicking here