Report on 2015 NSC Skills Summit
February 19, 2015
From February 8-10th, 200 individuals representing business, labor, community based organizations, community colleges, and the public workforce system traveled to DC from 30 states to take part in NSC’s thirteenth annual Skills Summit. Their mission: moving our collective skills agenda forward with the administration and a new Congress.
The event took place during an exciting time in our nation’s capital. The recent passage of WIOA reflected strong bipartisan support for strategies long-championed by NSC and its members, including sector partnerships, career pathways, and data/credential measurement. And President Obama just released his most ambitious budget proposal for skills to date.
Summit participants heard from Secretary of Labor Tom Perez who applauded their efforts to advance a national skills movement. Secretary Perez also acknowledged NSC’s Skills2Compete Campaign goal of access to two years of postsecondary education or training for all workers as an impetus for the President’s “America’s College Promise” proposal, which would provide two years of education or occupational training at a community college for eligible students. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” Perez told attendees.
Summit participants also heard from Acting Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin from the Office of Career Adult and Vocational Education at the US Department of Education. Assistant Secretary Uvin talked about the administration’s planned efforts to address the 36 million Americans with low foundational skills.
In addition to the keynote speeches and plenaries, participants broke out into smaller sessions to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the workforce development field, such as implementing WIOA in the states, meeting the President's goal of doubling the number of apprentices over the next five years, and helping the 36 million adults who lack foundational skills.
Carrying our skills agenda to Capitol Hill remained the focal point of the three-day event. Participants made over 150 visits with members of Congress and their staff. Through these visits, they moved our coalition one step closer towards realizing our big policy asks for this year's gathering:
Broadening access to Pell grants for a greater range of students
Raising the importance of building foundational skills among our workforce
PHOTO: Secretary of Labor Tom Perez addressing summit participants