Since the end of the Sputnik era, our nation has lacked the urgency to make education a national priority—until now. Global competition for human talent and innovation, long-standing educational achievement gaps, low high school graduation rates, and the pending retirement of 77 million baby boomers have placed tremendous workforce pressures on American business. These pressures, if not checked, will jeopardize our national economic security and the viability of the American dream.
Because the business community understands the importance of having a world-class education system, the mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) is to promote high educational standards and effective workforce training. Achieving a world-class system, however, begins with high-quality early learning opportunities for children from birth to age five. As a result, ICW has expanded its agenda with the launch of the Early Childhood Education Initiative.