April 20, 2004
John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
The surge of global competition into labor markets, sweeping technological change, and impending shifts in the demographic mix of our labor force call for a national campaign to improve the skills and professionalism of the American workforce. There is a need to create new learning partnerships throughout our communities and workplaces to sustain the jobs that provide for our middle class, pay the social costs of health, education and retirement, and preserve capabilities that are necessary for our nation’s security. There is much to debate about what is happening to jobs in America. But our Task Force, which brings together diverse figures from business, labor, academia, and community service, found deep-seated agreement on one proposition: the future strength of our economy rests in large measure on the skills and adaptability of the American workforce. We believe a national consensus is building in support of a far-reaching transformation of our strategies and programs for workforce development.
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