Best Practice Common Employability Skills Grants Industry Credentials

More Than $400,000 in Grant Funding Awarded to National Network Members


WASHINGTON, D.C. — JUNE 17, 2014 — The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (the Network), an effort led by Business Roundtable and ACT Foundation, congratulates 10 of its member business and industry associations for winning a combined $410,550 in grant funding from ACT Foundation. The grants will be used to implement strategies that further the Network’s mission to improve economic opportunity and quality of life for Americans by better connecting the working world and the learning world.
Specifically, grantees will use the funds to connect learning to careers in their respective industries. Projects include, but are not limited to, developing standards-based credentials or curriculum; expanding business-led work-and-learn models; encouraging companies to adopt human resource practices based on competencies, so employers hire on skill and not degrees alone; and expanding learning pathways that result in industry-recognized credentials and employment.
“This grant funding will help our business and industry associations accelerate the creation of a foundation that prepares students and job seekers with the skills and tools they need to succeed in their careers while also making sure employers can find skilled workers to fill jobs that power the economy, ” said John Engler, President, Business Roundtable.
Grant awardees include the American Health Information Management Association Foundation, the American Moving & Storage Association, the American Welding Society, the Center for Energy Workforce Development, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, the Manufacturing Institute, the National Apartment Association Education Institute, the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
“ACT Foundation is proud to support these business and industry associations as they work to align education, training and learning with the knowledge, skills and abilities individuals need for success in both the working world and for overall life satisfaction,” said Parminder Jassal, Founding Executive Director, ACT Foundation.
The Network represents major business sectors and is led by a collaborative partnership of Business Roundtable and ACT Foundation, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Lumina Foundation. Members include leaders in the manufacturing, retail, health care, energy, construction, hospitality, transportation and information technology sectors. They represent the source of nearly 75 percent of projected U.S. job growth through 2020 (an estimated 30 million new jobs).
The Network is implementing a five-point plan to connect learning to successful careers and lives, which includes:
  1. Developing the blueprint of knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s jobs and careers, beginning with a set of employability skills necessary in all major economic sectors;
  2. Clearly defining the attributes of quality, valid industry credentials, making it easier for students, learning centers and employers to know which credentials and certifications matter;
  3. Expanding business-led work-and-learn models that give people the hands-on skills and real-world work experiences they need to prepare for successful careers and satisfying lives;
  4. Expanding 21st century competency-based human resource practices across industry sectors, job functions and career levels; and
  5. Directly connecting employers to future talent and scaling solutions that result in employment.
Inaugural members of the National Network of Business and Industry Associations include:
  • Aerospace Industries Association
  • American Health Information Management Association
  • American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
  • American Land Title Association (ATLA) and ALTA’s Land Title Institute
  • American Moving & Storage Association
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • American Public Transportation Association
  • American Welding Society
  • Center for Energy Workforce Development
  • CompTIA
  • Home Builders Institute
  • Interstate Renewable Energy Council
  • The Manufacturing Institute
  • National Apartment Association Education Institute
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research
  • National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills
  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
  • National Retail Federation Foundation
  • Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute
  • TechAmerica/TechAmerica Foundation
  • Western Association of Food Chains