SHRM CEO Named to American Workforce Policy Advisory Board

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer February 13, 2019
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​Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, has been appointed to the federal government's American Workforce Policy Advisory Board to provide insight on how the government, educators and employers can train workers and reduce the skills gap.

The U.S. Department of Commerce established the panel in August 2018 to advise the newly created National Council for the American Worker—made up of Cabinet-level secretaries and other officials—on ways the federal government can encourage the private sector and educational institutions to address the skills crisis. The council is particularly interested in investing in and increasing demand-driven education, training, and reskilling through apprenticeships and other work-based learning programs. The advisory board will be led by the Secretary of Commerce and an advisor to President Donald Trump who oversees the Office of Economic Initiative.

"Our ability to skill up workers deeply impacts our long-term economic prospects and global competitiveness," Taylor said. "The advisory board and the HR community have a common goal of training, developing and educating the workforce. With this shared mission, I'm pleased to bring SHRM's workforce development expertise to the important work of the board."

SHRM was one of the first signers of the Trump administration's Pledge to America's Workers, committing to educate and prepare more than 127,000 HR professionals through the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certification programs over the next five years.

SHRM also:

  • Supports creating more apprenticeship programs.
  • Advocates for expanding employer-provided educational assistance to include student debt repayment.
  • Partners with Jobs for America's Graduates to help prepare students for opportunities in the workplace.
  • Leads the Getting Talent Back to Work initiative, which encourages businesses and organizations to commit to consider hiring people with criminal backgrounds.

"The American Workforce Policy Advisory Board is where government, business and education come together to address the urgency of the skills crisis," Taylor said. "Collectively, we can identify solutions to better prepare individuals for today's jobs and ensure workers are ready for the demands of tomorrow."

The advisory board comprises leaders from the private, nonprofit and public sectors.

Some of the goals of the board are to:

  • Devise a national strategy for creating and promoting workforce development strategies.
  • Foster close coordination, cooperation and information among stakeholders.
  • Promote education and job-training program options, including those options offered at four-year institutions and community colleges.
  • Propose ways to increase access to available jobs data, including data on industries and geographic locations with the greatest numbers of open jobs and projected future opportunities, as well as data on the underlying skills required to fill open jobs.
  • Develop a national campaign to raise awareness of the urgency of the skills crisis; the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education; the creation of new industries and job opportunities spurred by emerging technologies; the changing nature of many careers in the trades and manufacturing; and the need for companies to invest in the training and retraining of their workers.
  • Develop a plan for recognizing companies that demonstrate excellence in workplace education, training and retraining policies and investments.
  • Examine how the federal government can work with stakeholders to support apprenticeship expansion.

The chief executives of Apple, Lockheed Martin, SAP and Walmart are among the 25 appointments to the board, which also includes the governors of Indiana and Iowa, trade association executives, the president of North America's Building and Trades Unions, and representatives from higher education. Unless otherwise extended, the board will terminate July 19, 2020.

For more information about SHRM's efforts on workforce readiness, visit SHRM's Workforce Readiness Resource Page; a We Are Work video interview on closing the skills gap; and research on skills shortages.

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