VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE ANNOUNCES NEW PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
TO OFFER WORKERS 21ST CENTURY SKILLS
Washington, D. C. -- Vice President Al Gore today announced new
efforts by a coalition of business, organized labor, education and
government to help ensure that American workers have the skills they
need to succeed in the 21st century.
Members of the 21st Century Skills Leadership Group presented the
Vice President with a report embracing a common vision and
recommendations for expanding opportunities for adult learning, asking
communities across the country to consider these recommendations, and
detailing dozens of specific actions to support their vision.
"America's competitiveness and prosperity will depend increasingly
upon high-skill, high-wage jobs," said Vice President Al Gore. "We must
work together to help all of our people keep on learning throughout
their lifetimes and get the skills they need to succeed in the 21st
The 21st Century Skills Leadership Group, a group of leaders from
business, organized labor, education, and all levels of government, was
convened by the Vice President in January. The Vice President asked the
group to develop a set of recommendations to their peers that will help
ensure a prepared and thriving workforce in the next century.
The report presented today, Skills For a New Century: A Blueprint
for Lifelong Learning, outlines the leadership group's vision,
recommendations and initial commitments to help American businesses find
more skilled workers and to help all adult Americans acquire the skills
they need to succeed in a changing economy. The report outlines five
broad recommendations to provide adults the skills they need and
employers the skilled employees needed to remain competitive.
Deliver education and training that is tied to high standards,
leads to useful credentials and meets labor market needs.
Improve access to financial resources for lifetime learning for all
adult Americas, including those in low-wage jobs.
Promote learning at a time, place, and manner that meets worker
needs and interests, including through the use of learning technologies
to enable learning at home, the workplace, or elsewhere.
Encourage and motivate adults to pursue further education and
training and inform them of resources available to help them do so.
Form partnerships among a wide array of organizations and
stakeholders to support workforce development and lifelong learning for
Commitments from public and private organizations outlined in the
The American Council on Education (ACE), the AFL-CIO and the
National Association of Manufacturers will expand AEC's "College is
Possible" campaign - targeted until now primarily at young people -- to
include an additional focus on encouraging adults to get further
education and training.
The Lila-Wallace Reader's Digest Fund, Harvard University, the
National Council of State Directors of Adult Education, and the National
Coalition for Literacy will host a national literacy summit in February
2000 to create an action plan for improving basic literacy skills in
order to help close the skills gap. This summit will also be supported
by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, American Council on Education,
the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Cisco Systems, the Communications Workers of America, the U.S.
Departments of Labor and Education, and Arizona State University will
develop an on-line system to help retired military personnel and others
assess and improve their information technology skills and prepare for
the high-wage, high-skill jobs of the New Economy.
The Communications Workers of America, GTE, the National Institute
for Literacy and the U.S. Department of Education will launch a national
effort to increase funding, community awareness, and business support
for adult literacy programs. As part of this effort, 21 million GTE
customers will be able to donate $1 per month to support literacy in
their community by checking a box on their monthly bill.
Based on the leadership group's recommendation, the Vice President
also announced a new initiative to assist local communities interested
in developing and implementing community-wide strategies to help adults
get the skills they need to succeed. This effort will support
community-based partnerships involving business, labor, education and
government that develop plans focused on clear, objective, measurable
goals for adult learning and skill development across a community.
Members of this leadership group will serve on the advisory committee
for this effort, encourage the active involvement of their peers, and
will ask communities to consider adopting recommendations outlined in
this report. The federal interagency working group supporting this
effort will include the National Partnership for Reinventing Government
and the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor and Commerce.
The full report is available at http://vpskillsummit.org