Employment and Jobs

Leading the Way: The Role of Companies in Educational Access

May 18, 2017  • Rob Lauber

UpSkill America is an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and allow our economy and communities to thrive. As part of our mission to advance the upskilling movement, we are pleased to share the following news featuring one of our partners.

The world is changing. Educating the public is no longer only a concern for educators and government agencies. It’s become a responsibility for all of us, and perhaps most meaningfully, business leaders. More than ever before, businesses need to invest in ongoing education, training and career advancement for employees. Why? Education is the true game changer in helping employees succeed in the workplace and beyond. The importance of education might seem obvious to many, but research shows a lack of access to educational opportunities in today’s society:

  • Nearly 30 million working American adults do not have a high school diploma.
  • Ninety-two percent of business leaders think that U.S. workers are not as skilled as they need to be
  • By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require post secondary education and training beyond high school

2020 is around the corner, and a national problem is looming that impacts businesses, local communities and the overall economy. There isn’t a single right answer, but one thing we can be sure of is that U.S. businesses – particularly the very large businesses like McDonald’s – can play a huge and unique role in removing barriers to education.

Over the last several years, many companies including McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and Hilton have committed themselves to offering more educational opportunities to employees. Not only does it help provide a path to a more prosperous future for employees, it’s also just good business. It helps with employee morale and retention and enhances their overall skill set, which in return delivers a better experience for customers. In order to be a leader in the industry going forward, you must play a proactive role in ensuring you have a well-trained and educated workforce.

This piece was excerpted from “Leading the Way: The Role of Companies in Educational Access” by Rob Lauber, SVP, Chief Learning Officer at McDonald’s Corporation. Click here to read more.

Walmart and Walmart.org are supporters of UpSkill America, an initiative of the Economic Opportunities Program.


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