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For Release — October 29, 2013

Business Council Urges Education Agenda to Build a Skilled Workforce

NEW YORK, New York Today, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. testified at a New York State Senate Education Committee hearing illustrating the need to support Common Core standards, innovative learning models and access to early learning opportunities that will help prepare New York students to meet workforce needs.

“The success of New York's economy depends on building a skilled workforce,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Many students today are unprepared to meet the needs of the workplace - despite the fact that New York has talented teachers and students - supporting Common Core, innovative learning models and early learning opportunities will help bridge the gap.”

These initiatives will foster an educational system supporting a trained workforce that is critical to the state's economic health.

Members of The Business Council frequently cite difficulties in finding qualified workers. Although New York ranks second nationwide for educational spending, it ranks only slightly better than the U.S. average in math and reading proficiency, as measured by standardized tests. Nationally, 3.9 million positions remain unfilled due to a “skills gap” between the labor force and those required for the open jobs.

The Business Council recently announced a major emphasis on education reform through the creation of an education policy committee focusing on educational issues including secondary and post-secondary education and workforce development.

Earlier this year, The Business Council announced its support for the newly implemented Common Core standards as a means to prepare students for the workforce. The Council also partnered with New York State, education, and business interests to implement New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School program (NYS P-TECH), a learning model that includes a workforce development component and helps students to develop essential workforce skills.

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