At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America 2014 Annual Meeting today in Denver, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker spoke about the Commerce Department’s efforts to catalyze job-driven training initiatives and the Obama Administration’s focus on fostering a 21stcentury workforce. Following remarks by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary Pritzker spoke on a panel moderated by Chelsea Clinton, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair, titled “Charting a New Course: Education and Employing America’s Future Leaders.”
Workforce training is a personal issue for Secretary Pritzker, and she has heard from many CEOs that finding the right workers to fill available jobs is one of their top concerns. That is why Secretary Pritzker has made workforce training a top priority for the Department of Commerce for the very first time.
As Secretary Pritzker noted during the panel, training initiatives must be industry-driven in order to succeed in creating the 21st century workforce that businesses need. The Commerce Department leads a number of initiatives that have already seen progress towards equipping the American workforce with the skills for available jobs. For example, the Department recently launched a membership call for the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE), an advisory council that will assists the Department in finding new approaches to industry-led skills training. Secretary Pritzker also recently joined President Obama and Vice President Biden to announce a combined $600 million in Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) and apprenticeship grants, which will enable a number of communities to train workers for careers in cutting edge industries, such as advanced manufacturing, IT, and healthcare.
Today’s panel also included Rashid Ferrod Davis, founding principal of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), New York City Department of Education; Tiffany Lewin, systems and hardware Analyst at New York Presbyterian Hospital; Eduardo J. Padron,President ofMiami Dade College; and Eric Spiegel,President and CEO of the Siemens Corporation.
The CGI America 2014 Annual Meeting represents the ongoing need for economic recovery in the United States. The meeting convened over a thousand leaders across the business, NGO, and government sectors convened to develop solutions that will promote economic growth, long-term competitiveness, and social mobility in the United States. The Department of Commerce is committed to working with leaders in the public, private, educational, and nonprofit sectors to continue to strengthen the American workforce.