Nine Skills2Compete state campaigns came to DC in November 2009 to brief Members of Congress and the Administration and encourage further federal efforts to ensure that all workers and industries can get the skills they need to play a role in the economic recovery. Each state campaign brought a diverse range of stakeholders from business, labor, community colleges, the public workforce sector, and community-based organizations to demonstrate that shortages of middle-skill workers impact all sectors of the economy. State campaigns met with over 30 Member offices. View photos from the event.
In November 2007, National Skills Coalition (then The Workforce Alliance), with hundreds of endorsing organizations, launched the national Skills2Compete campaign. The campaign's signature publication, America’s Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs, made the initial case for a 21st-century skills guarantee that could address the unmet demand for U.S. workers with middle-skill credentials.
With attention to the campaign’s problem statement deepening in the media, federal policymakers began to take notice. Members of Congress used the campaign’s framework to propose new skill guarantees and innovative training initiatives. And in February 2009, inspired by the Skills2Compete campaign and others, President Obama called on all Americans to commit to “at least one year or more of higher education or career training.” That call to action was followed by new training investments under the Recovery Act and the proposed American Graduation Initiative.
But the campaign has not only had an impact in Washington. Between 2008 and 2011, National Skills Coalition worked with thirteen states to develop S2C campaigns. Each state campaign released Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs reports, grabbed headlines, and started to move policymakers and policy conversations. Learn more about these campaigns.