Skills for America’s Future Highlights Commitment to Veterans, New Energy Jobs Training at Community College Summit in San Diego

April 15, 2011

Contact: Jeff Harris
The Aspen Institute
202-736-3848 |

Pledge by PG&E to Train New Workers Discussed at US Department of Education Regional Summit

Washington, DC, April 15, 2011 –– Skills for America’s Future, a national initiative to connect employers with community colleges to provide 21st century skills to American workers, today highlighted efforts to help train workers for the new energy jobs of the future and programs that specifically target our veterans at the US Department of Education’s Community College Summit in San Diego, California.

A main partnership showcased at the summit was the commitment to Skills for America’s Future by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), one of five companies that started the effort when Skills for America’s Future was announced by President Obama in October 2010. PG&E discussed their PowerPathwayTM effort, which works with community colleges to develop curriculum and create a talent pool of qualified candidates for entry-level skilled jobs in areas like clean tech vehicles, energy efficiency and renewables, engineering and smart grid, and skilled crafts. PG&E also reiterated its pledge to expand the company’s energy jobs career pathways and provide $1.5 million of in-kind support for each of the next three years as part of the Skills for America’s Future effort.

Another California-headquartered company, Gap, Inc., was also one of the first five businesses to join Skills for America’s Future, and has already made progress in their commitment to establish new community college partnerships in seven new cities by using existing successful practices such as job shadowing, mock interviews and leadership training. Representatives from Gap, Inc. spoke at the US Department of Education’s first Community College Summit held in Philadelphia earlier this year.

“Leading California companies like PG&E and Gap, Inc. are stepping up, partnering with community colleges around the state and preparing students for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Skills for America’s Future Chair and Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker. “Partnerships between employers and community colleges are a win for students, a win for businesses, and a win for our economy. Skills for America’s Future will continue to help build similar, high-impact partnerships across the country.”

Many of the businesses at the US Department of Education’s third Community College Summit also focused on their efforts to ensure that we give our troops who so bravely sacrifice for our country the training they need to get good jobs after they return home. Helping train America’s veterans is an effort Skills for America’s Future is invested in, and PG&E highlighted how the company has already had more than 100 military veterans who are transitioning into the energy sector graduate from their partnership programs.

“Skills for America’s Future allows us to build on our proven community college partnerships,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, director of workforce development for PG&E. “We’re excited to provide California’s community colleges with the in-kind support they need to help prepare students, including our brave veterans when they return home, for the energy jobs of the 21st century.”

Skills for America’s Future, an initiative of the Aspen Institute, is a non-partisan partnership of businesses and community colleges. Its purpose is to address the dual problems of high unemployment and the difficulty many employers face in finding workers with the right skills by connecting employers to community colleges and workforce partners so students can be better equipped with the skills necessary to find and retain jobs in a 21st century economy. Announced in October 2010 by President Obama, the effort has received commitments from some of the nation’s leading employers including Accenture, Gap, Inc., PG&E, McDonalds, UPS and United Technology Corporation (UTC).

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