CEOs Help to Build America’s Ever-Ready Workforce

Business Roundtable
2 min readApr 30, 2024

Building a Skilled U.S. Workforce Through Collaborative Action and Modern Public Policies

Today across America, nearly 9 million jobs are unfilled. Yet, employers struggle to find workers with the skills or education needed for many of these open positions.

Business Roundtable CEOs are taking action to help solve this challenge. Their efforts were the focus of a recent CEO Workforce Forum that Business Roundtable convened for lawmakers, policy advocates, business leaders and other vital stakeholders.

Through Business Roundtable’s Corporate Initiatives, CEOs collaborate on efforts to address common workforce challenges. They come together to expand high-quality apprenticeships, partner with community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), promote second chance hiring and develop a cybersecurity talent pipeline.

With apprenticeships, Business Roundtable members not only train workers to fill in-demand jobs at their companies, but also to retain highly skilled talent. At the Forum, Chris Kastner, President and CEO of HII, touted that 80% of apprentices who graduate from HII’s program, “are with us after 10 years and represent 50% of my production leadership.”

Engaging with community colleges and HBCUs has also helped CEOs cultivate talent and address workforce shortages in communities across the country. Juan Salgado, Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, noted during the Forum that, “one of the things that’s working is companies are looking to community colleges as a talent solution, as a source of people with incredible capacity.”

In addition to their direct actions, Business Roundtable members continue to work with bipartisan policymakers to pass legislation to improve our country’s public workforce development system. CEOs understand that the system today fails to equip workers with the skills and education they need to thrive in a rapidly evolving economy.

For example, Business Roundtable strongly supports A Stronger Workforce for America Act, which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support. Additionally, the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act would open the door for more students to enroll in high-quality, short-term job training programs.

The champions of these bills, House Education and Workforce Committee Chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx and Ranking Member Rep. Bobby Scott, echoed the CEOs’ call for legislative solutions during a panel discussion at the Business Roundtable Forum. Both leaders emphasized the importance of aligning workforce development training with industry needs and preparing workers to achieve fulfilling careers.

As Deloitte Global Chief Executive Officer Joe Ucuzoglu noted during his closing remarks at the Forum, “Ultimately, it’s going to take us all working together. This is about academia, the public sector and government, and this is about the corporate community.” We couldn’t agree more.

Business Roundtable CEOs remain committed to collaborating with all of these stakeholders to tackle the workforce challenges of today and tomorrow. Together, we can help build America’s ever-ready workforce.

Dane Linn is Senior Vice President of Corporate Initiatives at Business Roundtable. In this role, Linn leads efforts that bring together the organization’s membership to make collective progress and apply best practices on issues such as worker training, diversity, investments in rural communities, and veteran and second chance employment.



Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable is an association of CEOs of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.