More than half of the firms in a recent Business Roundtable survey, “believe that skills shortages are problematic or very problematic for both their company and their industry.”
Thankfully, Congress recently passed the bipartisan Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, which will direct $1.2 billion to workforce training programs.
But federal dollars won’t close the skills gap without help from the private sector. Businesses need to invest more time and resources in workforce development by offering technical training and internships to kids when it really matters: in high school.
Capital One, for example, has hired high school interns since 2014. One intern created an app to hail the company shuttle bus so it would stop running empty and wasting fuel.
Companies must take an active role in developing talent. America’s future workforce depends on it.
Sanford I. Weill is a former chairman of Citigroup and education non-profit founder