Hosted by the University of Texas’ Austin campus, the nation’s Federal Reserve Banks brought together thought leaders from across the country to discuss policies and strategies for investing in America’s workforce. Serving as the capstone course of a six-month effort by the Reserve, representatives from across the country convened the first week of October to discuss everything from increased work-based opportunities to smarter and bolder investments in small businesses.
“We need to rethink what investing in workforce means,” said former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor Ray Marshall. “American businesses need to see their workers as an economic development investment, not just an expense line item on the year-end budget report,” said Marshall.
Over two-and-a-half days, participants were able to listen to and partake in dialogue regarding the growing need to expand the definition of “investment.” This included everything from increased broadband access to more flexible lending agreements for businesses interested in having apprenticeship programs. “No longer can we look at investment in business as merely investment in physical capital,” said President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Rob Kaplan. “Government, banks and businesses need to explore the increasing need for flexible financial investment in our most important capital investment which is our workforce.”
As part of its effort to assist communities in strategically planning for better workforce investments, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta has launched a new resource page. This platform will provide communities data, white papers, and other tools to assist them in developing strategies for building out a thoughtful workforce development plan that will meet their economic development needs today and for years to come.
For more information on the Investing in America’s Workforce Convening please visit their website.
For more information on how you can participate in the Chamber’s Education/Workforce Council please email Priscilla Camacho.