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Bush Center Briefing: September 2017
This issue of the bi-monthly Bush Center Briefing was emailed to subscribers on September 15, 2017. Subscribe today to receive this update in your inbox.
LETTER FROM THE CEO
America’s economic growth is only as good as the quality of our nation’s workforce. Employers depend upon innovative workers as well as a ready supply of talent. Without both of those factors, productivity declines and shackles the economy’s ability to expand.
In this Bush Center Briefing, we address that economic challenge with recommendations from two George W. Bush Institute experts. They describe how modernizing the immigration system and capitalizing upon the new Forever GI Bill can expand America’s workforce.
Laura Collins, deputy director of the Bush Institute’s Economic Reform initiative, details why Washington should focus immigration policies on skilled workers. And Jeffrey Cleland, a retired Marine corporal and manager of research and policy for the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, describes how universities and employers can tap the talents of America’s returning servicemembers through the updated GI Bill.
These recommendations add to our growing list of 2017 policy proposals aimed at addressing today’s most pressing challenges. Earlier this year, we presented Washington with a set of specific reforms from both our Domestic Excellence and Global Leadership Impact Centers. As is our mission, we speak to contemporary problems through the work of our Impact Centers and offer solutions to realize results.
-- Kenneth Hersh, President and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center
TEMPORARY WORKERS, SKILLED IMMIGRANTS COULD GROW THE WORKFORCE
The U.S. economy faces a conundrum. Thousands of jobs remain open at the same time that the economy is running at full employment. Employers simply cannot find enough qualified workers. The long-term answer lies in education and training. In the short term, writes Laura Collins, deputy director of the Bush Institute’s Economic Growth Initiative, U.S. policies should turn to skilled immigrants and temporary workers to meet our labor force needs.
UNIVERSITIES, EMPLOYERS, AND VETERANS SHOULD USE THE FOREVER GI BILL
The new legislation could be a boon for employers and universities seeking to tap the talents of members of the American military transitioning back into civilian life. Jeffrey Cleland, manager of research and policy for the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, describes how to make the bill work for veterans seeking to enter the workforce through a four-year degree or technical training that leads to a skilled job.
WATCH MRS. BUSH ON the role of first ladies
On Monday, September 18 at 8 a.m. EDT, Mrs. Laura Bush discussed the role and influence of global first ladies at the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit. She was joined Mrs. Monica Geingos, the First Lady of Namibia, for a livestreamed conversation on their unique platforms to empower women and girls.
Watch the livestream
IN THE NEWS
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Transition From Military-to-Civilian Life With a Plan
More than 200,000 service members transition from military-to-civilian life every year and our country needs your leadership, experiences, maturity, and inherent drive to get the job done.
5 Leaders to Watch on International Women’s Day
At the Bush Institute, we are proud to work with strong women leaders who are improving lives around the world.
ICYMI: Mrs. Bush Gives Media Preview at First Ladies: Style of Influence Exhibit
On February 28, Mrs. Bush gave media a preview tour of the new Bush Center exhibit, First Ladies: Style of Influence, before it officially opened to the public. The exhibit, based on Bush Institute research report A Role Without a Rulebook, guides visitors through the overlapping modalities through which first ladies exert influence as hostesses, teammates, champions, and policy advocates. Mrs. Bush discussed with media how September 11 instilled a calling to advocate for Afghan women and children; how she learned valuable lessons from her mother-in-law, Mrs. Barbara Bush; and how first ladies have made a significant impact throughout our country’s history, among other topics. Mrs. Bush first spoke with Fox News Channel’s Casey Stegall. Read the full story: New exhibit at Bush Center examining role of first ladies. Mrs. Bush then spoke with NBC5’s Meredith Land. Read the full story: The Bush Center Looks at First Ladies Through the Years. La
Don't Fall for Protectionism
“Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.” In light of these words from President Trump’s inaugural address, his decision to levy tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum is not surprising. Those words also foreshadow his Administration’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership soon after he took office. And they provide a key to his Administration’s stated objectives in renegotiating NAFTA and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. It may not have been clear to all of the many millions of people in attendance that day just how important those words were. With those words, the President announced a fundamental change to an American approach to trade that has guided our nation’s policy for almost a century – a century in which, not coincidentally, the United States became the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. In the NAFTA negotiations and, now, with the steel and aluminum ta