Center Forward facilitates open dialogue on jobs, economy

Mar 22, 2013, 13:29 ET from Center Forward

Sen. Joe Donnelly, Fred Humphries and Aric Newhouse discuss the skills gap and strengthening the American workforce

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Center Forward hosted its quarterly newsmaker event, "Strengthening the American workforce: Addressing the skills gap," with Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Fred Humphries, Microsoft Vice President of US Government Affairs and Aric Newhouse, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Relations. The event was part of Center Forward's ongoing efforts to transcend the partisan rhetoric in Washington and facilitate open and honest dialogue about the most important issues facing the country today. Specifically, panelists discussed the AMERICA Works Act, a bill introduced by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) that would modify existing federal job training programs to more effectively prepare American workers and to help manufacturers remain competitive in the global marketplace. 

"I often hear from Hoosiers that Congress should be focused on jobs.  Despite bipartisan agreement that we need to improve our economy, there seem to be too few willing to turn rhetoric into action and actually get something done," said Senator Donnelly.  "That is why I am appreciative of Center Forward's mission to bring together members of congress from both parties, along with policy experts, business leaders, and others to tackle the most important issues of the day.  Today's discussion on the skills gap addressed how we fill open jobs, create more jobs, and arm American workers and students with the skill sets they need to compete in the 21st Century economy.  I thank Center Forward for hosting this event, and I thank Microsoft and the National Association of Manufacturers for joining in this important conversation," said Donnelly.

"Investing in industry certifications and STEM education are smart bets as we work to ensure American students have the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to succeed in our increasingly competitive economy," said Fred Humphries.

"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," said Aric Newhouse. "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.," said Newhouse.

Center Forward brings together members of congress, not-for profits, academic experts, trade associations, corporations and unions to find common ground. Our mission: to give centrist allies the information they need to craft common sense solutions, and provide those allies the support they need to turn those ideas into results.

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