National Network Welcomes White House Support

Posted: July 22nd, 2014

Business-led Network Welcomes White House Support for Workforce Development

Industry Collaborative Offering Solutions to Improve Economic Opportunity for Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 22, 2014) — The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (the National Network) today welcomed the Administration’s latest workforce initiatives, noting that the focus now should be on the adoption of promising, business-led solutions designed to prepare students and workers for the modern economy.

“Business leaders welcome the administration’s commitment to preparing Americans for the workforce,” said John Engler, president of Business Roundtable and co-leader of the National Network. “We want to create more economic prosperity for Americans. A comprehensive approach to better connect business with education and job training is desperately needed. This is a national priority.”

Representing 75 percent of the future jobs in the United States, leading industry associations have come together to help individuals understand and gain the skills they need to enter into and advance in the jobs of today and tomorrow. Focused on a practical how-to approach, the National Network recently released Common Employability Skills, a guide that describes the foundational skills all employees need to be prepared for a job.

The National Network also released a model of a 21st century competency-based apprenticeship called Learning While Working, which guides employers who want to create an apprenticeship program to train new workers and help current workers advance in their jobs. These tools are part of a practical, business-led five-point plan to put America to work that includes clearly defining the skills people need to succeed in the workplace and offering companies how-to models for better recruiting, training and advancing their employees.

“Cross-industry collaboration is key to aligning the working and learning worlds,” said Parminder K. Jassal, founding executive director of ACT Foundation, which co-leads the National Network. “To achieve this alignment, we are focusing on solutions to the common challenges that all employers, all workers and all learners face, and we are already seeing great results toward the development of a new system of universal credentials.”

The National Network represents major business sectors and is funded through a collaborative partnership of Business Roundtable (BRT), ACT Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Lumina Foundation. Members include leaders in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, energy, construction, hospitality, transportation and information technology sectors. They represent the source of nearly 75 percent of projected U.S. job growth through 2020 (an estimated 30 million new jobs). Learn more about the National Network.

Inaugural Members of the National Network of Business and Industry Associations

  • Aerospace Industries Association
  • American Health Information Management Association
  • American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
  • American Land Title Association (ATLA) and ALTA’s Land Title Institute
  • American Moving & Storage Association
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • American Public Transportation Association
  • American Welding Society
  • Center for Energy Workforce Development
  • CompTIA
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • Home Builders Institute
  • Interstate Renewable Energy Council
  • The Manufacturing Institute
  • National Apartment Association Education Institute
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research
  • National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills
  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
  • National Retail Federation Foundation
  • Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute
  • TechAmerica/TechAmerica Foundation
  • Western Association of Food Chains


About Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy. BRT-member companies produce $7.4 trillion in annual revenues and employ more than 16 million people. Comprising more than a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market, these companies invest $158 billion annually in research and development – equal to 62 percent of private U.S. R&D spending. In addition, they pay more than $200 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate more than $540 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually. BRT companies give more than $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.


About ACT Foundation

ACT Foundation reaches across organizational boundaries, sectors, and the nation, to fund and develop strategic approaches to support working learners in their individual journeys toward successful careers and lives. Based in Austin, Texas, ACT Foundation is a private, independent organization, endowed by ACT, a nonprofit public trust committed to helping people achieve education and workplace success. The Foundation connects fifty years of data and insights to catalyze and build a National Learning Economy that will nurture the success of working learners while fueling a stronger economy.