While there have been great steps made in education reform in recent years, we can all agree that there is more to be done. The NC Chamber Education Committee met Wednesday as we head into the 2015 Legislative Session, focusing on high educational achievement and outcomes to close the skills gap and ensure our members have a qualified, competitive workforce.
Sen. Chad Barefoot, co-chair of the NC Senate Workforce and Economic Development Committee, joined the group to discuss and learn more about what workforce development methods work best for businesses and how these can be strengthened to ensure a continually competitive workforce for the 21st century. Hearing from our committee members, it is clear that businesses across the state are already significantly investing to augment the skills and competitiveness of our workforce through apprenticeship, youth leadership, STEM and other business education programs.
Additionally, there was a robust discussion around high academic standards and aligned assessments for our students. Andre Peek, chair of the Academic Standards Review Commission, and Todd Davis, member of the Task Force on Summative Assessments, gave greater insight into the review and recommendation processes. There was consensus among the group that, ultimately, we cannot achieve our state’s education goals until we signal to businesses, higher education and educators that the principles taught in the classroom will be reflected through assessments. The NC Chamber continues to make these top priorities to ensure accountability and high educational achievement.
In the coming days, I will share more details about the NC Chamber’s 2015 JOBS Agenda and our legislative priorities to develop and maintain first-rate, leading education and workforce development systems.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber