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Day 1 | Tuesday, February 15, 2022

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM EST

In 2021, President Biden proposed generation-defining investments in our nation’s physical and human infrastructures to build back the U.S. economy from the devastation of the pandemic. Through proposals like a $100 billion investment in workforce training and industry partnership development, and a $109 billion plan to extend tuition-free community college to both students and workers, the Biden administration hoped to make things better and more equitable for America’s workers and businesses.


The Build Back Better package being debated by Congress is smaller than the President’s original proposal, but the most recent version of the bill included sizeable investments in workforce development and community college partnerships that could redefine our nation’s workforce and higher education systems. If adopted, they would add to already enacted workforce investments in the previously passed American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. What are the administration’s plans to ensure those investments are both effective and equitable for America’s workers and businesses? Are states committed to those same goals? And what are stakeholders hoping to see from federal and state policymakers as these programs are implemented?

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, Domestic Policy Advisor in the Biden Administration 

Response Panel: 
Alex Camardelle, Director of Workforce Policy, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Derrick Figures, Labor and Economic Justice Director, Sierra Club
Jee Hang Lee, President and CEO, Association of Community College Trustees
Jennie Sparandara, Head of Programs, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Moderated by Andy Van Kleunen, Chief Executive Officer, National Skills Coalition

This is the fourth in NSC’s Fireside Chat series, featuring conversations between NSC’s CEO Andy Van Kleunen and national leaders who are shaping how America invests in skills training to help workers and businesses thrive in an inclusive economic recovery. The pre-recorded “chat” and the live plenary will be webcast on February 15th and recorded for future viewing via NSC’s Fireside Chat website.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST

Closing the Digital Skill Divide: Digital Equity at Work

The pandemic accelerated 10 years of planned technological change in workplaces in less than a year. Without a national strategy to help workers build digital skills throughout their careers, these shifts threaten to deepen racial inequality and slow economic recovery. The pandemic has demonstrated the urgency of putting high-quality, connected technology in more hands. But it also made clear that closing the digital divide requires public policies that empower all workers to adapt to and harness technology's constant evolution. Hear from three thought leaders who are working to close the digital divide, including the digital skill divide, in communities and industries across the nation.


Opening remarks by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Donald R. Cravins, Jr., Esq., Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, National Urban League
Portia Wu,Managing Director of U.S. Public Policy, Microsoft 
Dr. Sekou Siby, President and CEO, ROC United
Moderated by Rachel Unruh, Chief of External Affairs, National Skills Coalition

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