Skills for America’s Future Playbook

October 15, 2013

Contact: Jeff Harris
The Aspen Institute

Skills for America’s Future Playbook
Interactive Playbook to help businesses and community colleges boost workforce development

Washington, DC, October 15, 2013 – Skills for America’s Future (SAF) has released an interactive Skilled Trades Playbook. Created in partnership with Grainger, (NYSE: GWW), the Playbook connects businesses and community colleges in an effort to boost local workforce development.  The Playbook serves as a one-stop, how-to guide with checklists and other tools to help businesses and community colleges work together to find, train, and place workers in the skilled trades. The Skilled Trades Playbook incorporates numerous examples of effective employer engagement strategies learned from the SAF’s first two years of operation. 

Visit to download the full Skilled Trades Playbook and learn more about the skills gap challenge in the skilled trades professions. 

“The competitive advantage inherent in America’s workforce has always paved the way for our Nation’s progress,” said Nick Pinchuk, CEO of Snap-on Inc., and Chair of Skills for America’s Future advisory board.  “Today, however, there are significant skill gaps that have led to thousands of unfilled jobs.  Skills for America’s Future is dedicated to up-skilling our workforce, filling those jobs, and putting America’s greatest resource back to work.  The Playbook is another strong step in that direction.”

Many businesses that rely on skilled workers, such as machinists, welders, and electricians, report difficulty finding qualified individuals to fill open jobs. Partnerships that help align the skill needs of businesses with the training offered by community colleges are a solution to build a stronger workforce, but many don’t know where to start. Solving this dilemma was the catalyst for developing the Playbook.

The Playbook concept was born out of the Partnerships in Practice event sponsored by Grainger at the Aspen Institute in February 2013 where business leaders, community college presidents, and academic experts discussed the reality and scope of the skills gap, the challenges they face, and how businesses and schools can work together to prepare the workforce. The ideas from this event, combined with examples of local partnerships that are preparing skilled trades workers, served as the foundation of the Playbook.  

The Aspen Institute’s Skills for America’s Future program identifies solutions in which education and training providers work together with employers to prepare individuals with the skills that will allow American businesses to be more productive, innovative and competitive. 

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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