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Joining a Nationwide Push for Skills Training

Elizabeth Cromwell and Arlene Lee with Senator Tim Kaine
Elizabeth Cromwell and Arlene Lee with Senator Tim Kaine

Chamber President & CEO Elizabeth Cromwell and Chamber board member Arlene Lee (R. E. Lee Companies) visited Washington, DC on November 20-21 as members of a delegation assembled by Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU).

BLU is comprised of employers from a range of industries across the nation who are concerned about our nation’s skills gap, who are working with local partners to train and hire community residents for skilled jobs, and who want our country’s policymakers to follow suit and invest, aggressively and effectively, in the skills of America’s workers. BLU provides a common platform from which these diverse business leaders can jointly communicate to national policymakers, the press and the American public about the effective industry-based strategies they’ve developed which could serve as models for a more comprehensive national skills policy.

Joining chamber and business executives from across the United States, Cromwell and Lee received briefings from the National Skills Coalition, who offered tools and strategies to be effective when meeting with elected officials and policymakers.

Following an extensive briefing, Cromwell and Lee met with elected officials and policy experts from the offices of Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Congressman Denver Riggleman (R-VA 5th District), and the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, chaired by Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA 3rd District).

At the event's bipartisan breakfast in the Hart Senate Building, Cromwell was invited to introduce keynote speaker Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), along with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). Senators Kaine and Portman are co-sponsoring numerous bills to enable businesses to most effectively build the skills needed to fill open positions today and tomorrow.

Click here for Twitter posts from #SkillsOnTheHill.

Pictured: Arlene Lee and Elizabeth Cromwell in front of the Capitol. Elizabeth Cromwell with Amy Shields, Senior Director for Community Advancement at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). An unexpected sight at the Capitol: hundreds of butterflies made by The Butterfly Effect: Migration is Beautiful.

86% of voters and 70% of business leaders support investing in skills training programs at the same level that we invest in college
Business Leaders' Views on Higher Education: 64% want Pell grants for skills training, 64% want support services for worker training, 77% want investments in partnerships, 66% want transparent data