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North American Workforce Initiative: Strengthening the Talent Pipeline In North America
The three nations of North America enjoy a significant degree of economic integration that sustains and strengthens the global competitiveness, labor productivity, and prosperity of each nation. This economic integration facilitates the development of supply chains that open possibilities for cost control and innovation for the enterprises of the region.
However, business leaders, particularly in the manufacturing and logistics sectors, have pointed out the lack of standards for training and certification of workers that are valid at the regional level. The lack of regional standards makes supply chain management more difficult, raising production costs and reducing productivity.
To address this skills gap and keep North America economically competitive, the George W. Bush Institute’s North America Competitiveness Working Group released a proposal this week to strengthen the talent pipelines in North America. To help implement this policy recommendation, North American Strategy for Competitiveness, Inc. (NASCO), a Working Group member, is working with the Institute on the North American Workforce Initiative.
In each of the three North American countries, there exist numerous certifications that labor and business groups are beginning to codify in cooperation with educational institutions. As a result, there exists an opportunity to promote regional cooperation among these efforts with a view toward bringing the three systems closer together and advancing toward regional standards.
This is not about labor mobility—it is about workers in each country having the education and skills necessary to find good work in their own communities. It is also about encouraging businesses to stay in North America because they know they will have the skilled labor they need to staff their businesses today and in the decades to come. Technological change has produced rapid change in the U.S. and Canada. Mexico’s economy is quickly modernizing as well. Skilled labor is needed to power the businesses in this new economic landscape.
NASCO and the Bush Institute have engaged standards-setting bodies in all three countries to identify ways to achieve more consistent quality across training and certification programs in North America. In the months to come, we will be working together to promote widespread use of a foundational career technical education curriculum and mutual recognition among North American certifying bodies.
We believe that closing the skills gap in each country is important to keeping North America as the most economically competitive region in the world. Through this Initiative, we hope to promote policies that encourage each country to help its workforce obtain the skills and education necessary to build a pipeline of labor for the jobs of tomorrow.
TARIFFIED: Trade Talk with Matthew Rooney
This week, trade relations between the U.S. and India are continuing to escalate. Earlier this month, the U.S. stopped granting India special trade privileges by taking away the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and India has responded by enforcing more tariffs of its own. The George W. Bush-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Director Matthew Rooney breaks down the trade conflict: For more information on trade groups and the global economy, visit www.bushcenter.org/scorecard.
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We should think carefully about a policy whose major impacts are likely to be reductions in employment and economic activity here at home, and increased instability and lawlessness along our borders.
Bush Institute's Laura Collins Talks Immigration on Good Morning Texas
Last week, Deputy Director of Economic Growth at the George. W. Bush Institute Laura Collins spoke with Good Morning Texas about immigration myths. During the interview, Collins had the opportunity to set the record straight and address common misconceptions about legal immigrants living in America today. The segment was inspired from facts released earlier this fall by the Bush Institute in the third edition of America's Advantage: A Handbook on Immigration and Economic Growth. Watch the full Good Morning Texas interview here.