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Secretary Raimondo's message to CEOs: "They need to be willing to hire differently"

June 08, 2021 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated June 29, 2021 17:41 PM UTC

The Secretary of Commerce encourages CEOs to consider factors other than a four year college degree.

the question that people have is can we do something that's big enough and effective enough, that actually connects the training to the jobs that are available? How are you feeling about that? Yes. Not only can we we must f for it's not an exaggeration for me to say that every ceo I speak with when I asked them, you know, what are your greatest challenges and how can we help list? Uh job training and the need for greater access to skilled workers in their top three. Everyone this week. Of course during select Usa I have the opportunity to talk to many. Um Ceos and since I've been Commerce secretary, I have talked to many. So we have to I mean if we're going to improve american competitiveness and the ability of our companies big and small to grow and increase increase their productivity, increase their innovation, they need the talent. Um By the way, alan this isn't rocket science, it really isn't. We just have to get to the business of doing it. And in this regard, I'm very optimistic. I have already started working closely with the secretary of Labor and Secretary of Education. Were all three committed coming together on the same team. So business is at the core from the very beginning which is the key. And you know, other countries do it this morning. I was on the phone with Ceo from uh company in Austria. You know, they have a great apprenticeship model. Certain companies are doing this, community colleges are doing this, we just have to scale it as you say. And I believe that we will, what do you need from the CEOs in this group in order to succeed on this. What would be your top request of them first? They have to engage with us. They have to come to the table and put in the time and effort required to tell us in some detail uh what are the skills that they need and that does take time and it is a detail oriented exercise but it's necessary, secondly they need to be willing to hire differently. You know if you go and this also takes time. But so often um if you go to the hiring department, hR departments of companies, they are still um looking for people that check the boxes, four year college degree, five years of relevant experience, even though that's not technically necessary for somebody to do that job. And if you're going to stick to checking those boxes, we may not be able to sign for your college degree graduates if that's what you're saying you need but you might not need that. And also I would say this is really in the weeds so tell me to be quiet. But a lot of these big companies use the same software to screen resumes and they search on these keywords and they've been doing it the same way for a long time. You have to do it differently, has been open to someone who has the competencies, but maybe not a full four year degree.