Feds to Align Training With Industry Needs

     WASHINGTON (CN) - President Barack Obama has directed government agencies to review the U.S. workforce training system and develop a plan to make it more "job-driven, integrated and effective." He expects the plan within six months, according to the president's memo to the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education, Thursday.
     Acknowledging what is said to be a gap between worker skills and the needs of employers looking to hire, Obama has directed Vice President Joseph Biden to lead the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget, the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education in developing a specific action plan, according to the memo.
     The plan is to lay out specific steps to identify the skills employers are looking for and get that information to training programs, schools, unions, policy makers and others. In creating the plan, agency staff are to consult industry leaders, unions, economic development organizations, state and local elected leaders, relevant nonprofit organizations and others.
     Obama also seeks to align federal employment programs and secondary, post-secondary and adult education programs, according to his memo. Information on the demand for certain jobs, what skills, training and education are needed, and what the future holds for the profession is to be circulated as widely as possible among workers, employers and educators.
     Also, agency staff are to evaluate current training programs and research for their effectiveness and identify areas needing more research, according to the memo.