A Year of Upskilling

By Nicky Lauricella Coolberth, March 25, 2016

A Year of Upskilling

One year ago this week, 150 employer, labor, education, and community leaders met at the White House for a half-day Upskill Summit to share the innovations and collaborations that were currently in place to equip front-line workers with the skills and supports needed to advance in their careers. Nearly one-third of those attendees were NSC partners and allies, including 14 members of Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU) and 30 labor partners.                                                  

At that meeting, 130 employers and labor unions employing and representing more than 5 million workers made commitments to not just sustain, but to expand and grow their efforts to upskill our nation’s workforce. Over the following twelve months, the White House has been engaging regularly with those that made a commitment to stay abreast of progress.  What they’ve found: in just one year, a tremendous amount of new and expanded work has been done to equip frontline workers with the skills they need to advance in the workplace.  

This afternoon, leading employers and their partners will celebrate that progress in Washington, DC, for Win/Win: Making the Case for Employer Talent Development (you can watch a recording of the event at that link). The event will be co-hosted by Upskill America, an organization dedicated to the elevation of good upskilling practices. BLU serves as a member of Upskill America’s Leadership Council.

The return on investment in upskilling is detailed in a new report from Lumina Foundation finds that investing in college tuition as an employee benefit not only helps companies attract and retain top talent – it improves the bottom line. An analysis of health insurer Cigna’s Education Reimbursement Program (ERP) shows every dollar the company puts into the program is returned and generates an additional $1.29 in savings—a 129 percent return on investment.

We’ll update this blog tomorrow, as soon as the updates on the one-year commitments are released by the White House.