118 Businesses and Organizations Call on Congress to Support Investments in Workforce and Skills Training as Part of Economic Recovery Legislation

By Nicky Lauricella Coolberth, August 30, 2021

Businesses and Organizations from 29 states – from America’s Heartland to Every Coast – in a Broad Range of Industries Agree: Investments in Skills are Critical

Washington, D.C., Aug. 30, 2021 — A group of 118 businesses–led by Business Leaders United in coordination with Autodesk and Workday – sent a letter to Congress today asking it to support investments in workforce and skills as part of any recovery legislation.

“We have dueling problems—workers unable to find good-paying jobs that fit their skills and employers struggling to hire skilled workers for in-demand and emerging roles.  Strong federal investment in the long-term success of America’s workforce is critical to solving both challenges and addressing this skills mismatch,” the letter states.

Specifically, the group recommends that Congress:

  • Provide sufficient resources to support the demand for sector-based workforce training and reskilling programs that help bridge skills mismatch, including workers’ digital skill needs, while promoting more equitable economic mobility.
  • Expand workforce training capacity by providing tax incentives for training programs led by industry, educators, and non-profit organizations and embracing flexible short-term and online training in key digital and emerging, in-demand skills.
  • Drive informed training by growing real-time labor force data identifying economywide trends focused on emerging roles and the skills needed for in-demand jobs and high-demand sectors and measure the equitable impact of public investments.

“This country is at a digital transformation crossroads that risks leaving many workers without the new technology skills they need to thrive in the modern workplace,” said Srinath Jonnalagadda, Vice President, Design and Manufacturing Industry Strategy at Autodesk. “While Autodesk supports a number of training programs for workers in manufacturing, construction and our customers’ other industries, businesses can’t be expected to close this emerging skills gap alone. Federal government support for retraining and upskilling programs will keep the American workforce competitive. The best way to create opportunities for impacted workers is to establish a close working partnership between government, education, private sector companies and workers themselves.”

“At Workday, we believe Congress can and should take steps toward ensuring that employers and workers can thrive in the changing economic landscape,” said Chandler Morse, head of public policy, North America, Workday. “Joining forces with Business Leaders United and other organizations across the country further supports our position that skills represent the currency of the changing world of work. It’s because of this, we are asking Congress to support workforce training, reskilling programs, and real-time labor force data, which will lead to new skills and promote more equitable economic mobility for all.”

According to polling by National Skills Coalition, 82% of workers want increased public investment in skills training to help people find new jobs in response to the pandemic, and 81% want to see increased investments in skills training in the long term.

“Finding skilled workers was an issue even before the pandemic began, a situation made worse by the crisis. Our recovery from it will depend on workers having access to skills training that industry desperately needs.” – Michael Tamasi, President & CEO, AccuRounds and Chair of Business Leaders United.


National Skills Coalition fights for inclusive, high-quality skills training so that people have access to a better life, and local businesses see sustained growth. We engage in analysis and technical assistance, organizing, advocacy, and communications to improve state and federal skills policies.