About the Coalition


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Business leaders have long understood that the success of their companies - and America's economic strength - is deeply connected with the education that our nation is providing those in the current and future workforce. That's why, through the Upgrade America campaign, we are calling on policymakers to join us in improving education.

Our nation's education system is our nation's operating system. Just like the system software on our computers, if we don't keep our education system upgraded as the world economy demands more of our workforce, we can't meet that demand. Today's jobs require knowledge that - for too many - our education system isn't providing. A welder and farmer now need postsecondary training to operate the machinery routinely used in the mines and the fields, and without higher levels of education like this, millions of jobs are going unfilled. There's been an incredible 70% increase in postsecondary education requirements in jobs that never demanded it before.

The world is changing. Fast.

Four key factors are driving this change:

  • Unprecedented investments in education by countries with growing youth populations around the world are creating a large, skilled global workforce - ready to compete for the high-skilled jobs of the future.

  • Underserved minorities in America's education system are becoming the majority. Access to high-quality education must reach every single student.

  • Students entering today's job market face a very different workplace than previous generations. What used to be elite knowledge is now entry-level knowledge.

  • Education has more impact on income, employment, financial and career stability than ever before. A person's education must match up with the economic demands of the working world. And right now, it's an alarming mismatch.

We can take advantage of these changes.

Education is the key to re-energizing the American dream. Upgrading the way we prepare students for work, and lifelong education throughout someone's career, puts our workforce in a position to compete. And that education system needs to be better every day - constantly upgrading to meet the demands of the economy. Adaptive. Responsive. Dynamic.

That only happens when business, government, and the education community work together. World-class standards and high expectations for all students; transparency about performance; and a focus on improving our nation's lowest performing schools are a clear place to start. But it takes political will to make it happen.

The time is now. Let's demand it. Let's upgrade the American workforce. Let's Upgrade America!

Learn more about education policy solutions that can help Upgrade America.

Access initiatives and reports from the Upgrade America partners.

Connect to news and resources about the importance of education reform to economic success.