Highlights of SkillsUSA National Meetings and Events

Posted: July 22nd, 2015

PKJ SkillsUSA BfastLouisville, KY (June 25, 2015) –  ACT Foundation and the National Network of Business and Industry Associations proudly support the many competitors from across the nation who attended SkillsUSA Nationals in Louisville, KY to show off their talents and competencies in a variety of skill-based events.

During the three day event, ACT Foundation and the National Network hosted a Breakfast meeting that included a powerful keynote address from Dr. Parminder Jassal, Founding Executive Director of ACT Foundation. The National Network, which is a joint effort of ACT Foundation and Business Roundtable, held meetings, working sessions, and discussions with thought-leaders, industry representatives, and SkillsUSA students to discuss the growing needs of working learners and the demands for a highly-skilled workforce by businesses.

One highlight of the three-day event was a roundtable discussion with SkillsUSA students, facilitated by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Steve Kramer.  Ten students representing diverse career and technical backgrounds joined Network members for a candid conversation about their experiences and what business and industry can do to expand opportunities for young people so they can gain competencies and credentials that lead to greater success in 21st century careers.

Dr. Jassal’s keynote speech at the Breakfast event discussed the need for better connecting working and learning for increased life success. Among the key points of this address, Dr. Jassal highlighted the growing trend toward a “gig-based” economy and the need for more skilled workers to meet the demands of an increasingly technical workplace:

“Over the last decade, and all around us, we have witnessed the traditional “full-time job with benefits and predictable advancement opportunities” becoming less common and being replaced by a new gig-to-gig, project-to-project, contract-to-contract working life. Today, this working life is the reality for about a third (32 percent) of the total workforce in the United States. Experts, including Ardent Partners (supply management), forecast this new project-to-project work reality to reach 50 percent by 2020, resulting in one out of every two workers not being employed in a full-time job by one company.

The economic implications of this flexible workforce are significant: Businesses can access the specific skills and people they need on-demand –  and continuous, just-in-time learning becomes not only a necessity but also a way of life. In this new reality, workers and learners can live more meaningful and independent lives if they can find ways to capitalize on these trends while connecting their working, learning, and living experiences.”

ACT Foundation and the National Network are proud supporters of SkillsUSA and all the students and competitors there representing the future of America’s skilled workforce.