Peggy Philbin is Deputy Executive Director and Cheif Operating Officer for SelectUSA
The right workforce is critical to business success. Investors often prioritize workforce factors when deciding where to locate their operations, looking at the skill level and expertise of the workers, as well as opportunities to form local partnerships to ensure that education and training programs match ongoing recruitment needs. By both counts, the United States is well positioned: U.S. workers are diverse, skilled, and innovative. Our productivity is among the highest in the world, and there are many resources at the federal, state and local levels that businesses can use to tap into that workforce and build the skills to support global competitiveness.
The 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 19-21) brings together companies from all over the world, as well as economic development organizations (EDOs) from every corner of the country, government officials, and others working to facilitate investment in the United States. Workforce resources will be featured on the stage, in the exhibition hall, and in the U.S. Government Pavilion.
On the stage, we are excited to feature an armchair discussion on Monday, June 20, led by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. Secretary Perez will be speaking with Ms. Marion Blakey, the President and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Vice-Chair of the National Governors Association, about the ways that federal and state programs and public-private partnerships are empowering workforce innovation.
On slightly smaller stages, three breakout sessions will also focus on workforce. On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Suzi LeVine will lead a discussion examining best practices from global apprenticeship and occupational training programs. On Tuesday, Ms. Karin King, Managing Director of the Office of Visa Services at the U.S. Department of State, will moderate a panel focused on providing practical information regarding international employees. Later that day, Mr. Eric Seleznow, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Employment and Training Administration, will lead a conversation on cultivating top talent.
Throughout the exhibition hall, participants can meet directly with state and local economic developers to learn about training programs, recruitment assistance, and other incentives. Managers are often surprised to learn about the wealth of resources available, so we encourage attendees to visit each state and local booth to learn more.
At the U.S. Government Pavilion, which is located in the International Terrace, across the lobby from the exhibition hall, participants can meet with officials from the U.S. Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Veterans Affairs, as well as UNICOR and the Small Business Administration.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be in Kiosk 21, ready to share information on ApprenticeshipUSA, the Foreign Labor Certification program, and the National Workforce Investment system –the primary vehicles for employment and training opportunities for America’s workers and businesses. Each year, the United States invests approximately $11 billion into this system, including nearly 2,500 American Job Centers and apprenticeship consultants who are available across the country.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions, and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Speak with team members from SBA at Kiosk 22, or check out their online guide to the hiring process, which describes how to comply with federal and state labor regulations, so that you can hire your first U.S. employee.
UNICOR is a corporation, run by the U.S. Department of Justice, that is dedicated to employing inmates and helping them develop the job skills needed to succeed in life. With modern factories nationwide, a proven history, and a diverse range of production capabilities, UNICOR offers American manufacturing excellence. The team at Kiosk 20 is seeking opportunities with industry to manufacture products that would otherwise be produced offshore, as well as subcontracting opportunities.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works with U.S. veterans across the country – men and women who offer a wide variety of skills and experience. The VA provides online and in-person resources to help veterans find and prepare for careers, including the Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO). Stop by Kiosk 19 to learn how the VA can help you tap into this network of well-trained and hard-working potential employees.
At the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), Secretary Penny Pritzker is leading the “Skills for Business” initiative, partnering across the federal government with agencies like the Department of Labor and the Department of Education to assure that training programs meet the needs of industry and workers are prepared for the jobs of the 21st Century. Several DOC agencies will be on-site: find data on the U.S. population from the Census Bureau (Kiosk 3), learn how the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Kiosk 9) works with small and midsized manufacturers to assist with workforce challenges, and check out the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) (Kiosk 8) to discover how industry, academia, and government partners are collaborating to develop the qualified workforce needed for advanced manufacturing.
We are looking forward to seeing you at the SelectUSA 2016 Investment Summit. If you’re interested in learning more, but unable to attend in person, SelectUSA can help you find information on federal regulations and resources all year long. Visit our website and contact us.