John Bridgeland, CEO and President, Civic EnterprisesEducation has been the primary lever of upward mobility in America for decades, and it is truer now than ever.  Yet, as the demands on schools to impart 21st century skills have increased, school quality has not kept apace across the country, and 7,000 students drop out of high school each school day. 

Compounding this problem is the fact that employers are increasingly seeking employees with flexible, transferable skills.  American businesses currently demand 97 million middle- and high-skill employees – but only 45 million Americans have the necessary skills to do the work.  An education gap has lead to a skills gap, which has an economic cost to us all.


John Bridgeland, President and CEO, Civic Enterprises

This makes our path forward plain – our nation needs to reform and invest in education so that we better prepare young adults for the workforce demands of today and tomorrow.

In consultation with our bipartisan coalition and key partners, we have assembled a national Shared Plan of action, an eight-point plan combining public and private sector efforts that will reconnect young adults outside of school and the labor force by accelerating career and technical education in America, and improving college access and affordability.  

The Shared Plan recognizes that not everyone will pursue a bachelor’s degree right after high school, and therefore multiple pathways are needed to engage today’s young adults that are looking for alternative ways to begin their post-secondary school and ultimately a career.

We invite you to read our national Shared Plan of action and find out how you can become part of the effort to create new pathways for young adults to succeed in high school, post-secondary education, and careers.