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Power Station

Apr 8, 2019

The National Skills Coalition (NSC) is building the workforce needed for our nation’s future by advocating for public investment in skills development now. This national nonprofit was launched twenty years ago when public support for job training was lagging and both labor and business leaders were concerned about the resulting lack of job opportunities and readiness. NSC’s message is now bolstered by 28,000 members representing industry, labor unions, community colleges and Chambers of Commerce.

As Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, NSC’s Director of Upskilling Policy says about this disparate and broad-ranging coalition, “They may not agree on much, but they all agree on the importance of workforce development.” And they are committed to making the change they want to see. They meet with state and federal policy makers to advocate evidence-based positions and now, to share the results of a new NSC poll of 2020 voters. It demonstrates overwhelming support for increased public investment in people’s skills to meet employers’ workforce needs. NSC’s research shows that the “train and pray” approach to job training has been replaced by a demand-driven model. That demand now rests with “middle skills” jobs, such as those in the culinary arts and the medical field. They require training that falls between high school and a 4-year college and create an opportunity as a society that we cannot afford to miss. Public support for middle skills jobs can also mean a pathway to citizenship, a particularly resonant message for our immigrant communities. This just skims the surface of Amanda Bergson-Shilcock’s rich conversation with Power Station.