RealClearEducation | October 2, 2019

As the country digs in for another intense presidential campaign cycle, job creation is a major focus for both parties. As leaders, we have the opportunity — and the responsibility — to spark a national conversation about the future of education and work in America. This is really a debate about the American Dream and whether we are committed as a nation to making it attainable for all.

These Opportunity Youth (the nearly five million young people disconnected from education and the workforce) are often left behind, not because of a lack of talent and skill, but because of exclusive, outdated, and inefficient education, training, and hiring practices. Millions of American jobs go unfilled as a result, and many of our youth are subsequently denied the opportunity to establish stable careers and economic mobility. Not only is this damaging to individuals and communities across the country, but it’s ultimately crippling America’s ability to compete globally.

Without bold changes to our education and workforce systems this paradigm will not change, and we can expect continued and growing economic inequality. The hollowing of the middle class will continue, and the impacts will cut across racial, geographic, economic, and partisan demographics.

The time has come for a New Skills Deal, one which meets our obligations to prepare our workforce for 21st-century careers and makes the promise of the American Dream accessible to every citizen. America requires a fundamental re-thinking of how we provide our citizens with the tools and support necessary for success. And we as a society need to reprioritize what we value in the talent marketplace.

Read the full article in RealClearEducation.