About UpSkill America
UpSkill America is an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and allow our economy and communities to thrive. The movement promotes training and advancement practices to help workers progress in their careers and move into better-paying jobs. UpSkill America’s mission is to recognize employers that invest in their frontline workers; promote the adoption of policies and practices used by employers to educate, train and develop frontline workers; and highlight effective local and regional workforce development partnerships and how they educate, train and develop individuals for success in the workplace.
UpSkill America studies upskilling programs and strategies that include:
UpSkill America is a part of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute and is funded through the generous support of philanthropic foundations and supportive corporations that believe in expanding economic opportunity for workers.
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We define upskilling as education, training and development that prepares someone for advancement in the workplace. Upskilling is a critical business strategy that is good for employers, their employees, the communities in which they live, and the nation as a whole. As detailed in the UpSkilling Playbook for Employers, employers should invest in upskilling because:
We need more American business leaders to invest in effectively upskilling their workers. Leading the way to the middle class for more hardworking Americans is good for business and good for America.
A Three-Part Mission
RECOGNIZE leading employers that provide expanded career opportunities for their workers.
PROMOTE the widespread adoption of business policies and practices that increase economic opportunity.
HIGHLIGHT effective local and regional workforce development partnerships and how they educate, train and develop individuals for success in the workplace.
UpSkill America was created in January 2015 when President Barack Obama called on employers to come together to do more to provide opportunities for advancement for front-line and entry level workers at a time when many Americans were feeling left behind in the economic recovery. A coalition of businesses, education, and workforce training, philanthropy and human resources organizations joined together to help create UpSkill America as part of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute.
“Today we are partnering with business across the country to UpSkill America. To help workers of all ages earn a shot at better, higher paying jobs even if they don’t have a higher education. We want to recruit more companies to help provide apprenticeships and other pathways so people can upgrade their skills. We are all going to have to do that in this new economy.” — Barack Obama
The founding partner organizations instrumental in the creation of UpSkill America were:
- Business Champions
- Business Leaders United
- Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
- Committee for Economic Development
- HR Policy Foundation
- National Fund for Workforce Solutions
- Small Business Majority