On December 3rd, over 100 leaders from across the nation representing the business community, educational system, local governments and others met at the White House to discuss new and innovative ways to create jobs. There is still much work to be done to get people back to work even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a decline in the unemployment rate of 10.2 to 10. Although slight, this is one of the most encouraging reports since the economic decline in December 2007.
After the half-day workshop, although many ideas were discussed, the following six areas of opportunities were compiled and presented to the Obama Administration:
• Give employers incentives to hire
• Create green energy jobs with a “cash for caulkers” program
• Boost credit availability for small firms
• Boost infrastructure spending or aid to states
• Expanding exports
• Use the TARP fund as a pool of jobs money. (source: CSMonitor.com)
President Obama is encouraging leaders at the local level to organize forums in their own communities to discuss ways the business community can expand and create jobs. The President emphasized the need to include local academic and training institutions in these discussions. This will ensure there are resources in place to prepare individuals to fill the positions as they become available.
STEM, Science, Technology Engineering and Math, is one initiative that connects the workforce community with the educational community. Created by Workforce Florida and Enterprise Florida, this program was designed to provide students with the skills to meet the needs of some of today’s fastest growing industries such as alternative energy, aerospace engineering and information technology. “This collaboration is the right opportunity at the right time for Florida,” said Allan Bense, Vice Chairman of Enterprise Florida. “Florida’s success in the 21st Century economy will depend greatly on our ability to train, retain and retrain a ready workforce of problem solvers and innovators who are well skilled in STEM fields.”
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