Open immigration is not the answer, but the United States should not hold up the reform of skilled-immigration programs like the H-1B and L-1 visas because of the political logjam over how to stop the flow of illegal immigration.
Immigrants account for a majority of the net increase in the US workforce concentrated in the so-called STEM work (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) since 1995. According to William R. Kerr at the Harvard Business School, immigration "provides the United States with a number of exceptional superstars for STEM work. Second, immigration acts through the sheer quantity of workers that it provides for STEM fields." Kerr believes that the "quantity aspect of high-skilled immigration is the stronger factor" in terms of impact.
Few companies get involved in education to the extent that Southwire has, according to Jan Rivkin, a professor at Harvard Business School. Together with the Boston Consulting Group, the business school recently surveyed superintendents across the nation about the extent to which they collaborate with corporations. The survey found that most school districts receive some form of support from businesses, but it is usually limited to donations of money and equipment.
Georgia-based Southwire staffed a plant with troubled teens, who proved that hard work can overcome hard knocks. In the process they pioneered a model for education reform nationwide.
"It's a remarkable win-win-win. Students are graduating, the school system loves it, the company makes money. It's mutually beneficial," says Harvard Business School's Jan Rivkin, who has closely studied the company's efforts.
Business and education leaders, together, can do a better job of developing the well-educated, highly skilled employees whom companies and the country need.
Today, business leaders support schools through efforts that are generous, well-intended, effective at alleviating the symptoms of a weak educational system, but fundamentally inadequate for helping to strengthen the system. Consequently, it's time for America's business leaders to reinvent how they partner with educators to support our students and improve our schools. That is the central message emerging from a year-long study by the faculty of Harvard Business School's U.S. Competitiveness Project, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Boston Consulting Group.
"We do not take an approach—either at the national level or state level—that creates an ease of communications between employers and educational institutions that are going to impart skills and background to potential employees," said Joe Fuller, a Harvard Business School professor and faculty member of the school's U.S. Competitiveness Project. "This is why we have 12 million to 13 million unemployed people and 650,000 job openings in manufacturing right now."
Karen Mills, senior fellow at Harvard Business School, and Matthew Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer at CareerBuilder, talk with Erik Schatzker about the U.S. job market, the roles played by government and the business community in creating jobs, and the challenges for small business to find skilled labor to fill positions needed to grow their companies. They speak on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers."
Released in May 2014, this report focuses on the current state of U.S. education and why this is a unique moment of opportunity for change.
Despite the strong monthly U.S. jobs report released last week, it's likely too soon to cheer the positive numbers. In recent years, the number of jobs created has been anything but choppy; for instance, in October 2012 and again in February and November 2013, the U.S. economy generated more than 200,000—enough to keep up with population growth. In December and earlier this year in January, however, that momentum lapsed when job creation dropped to less than 150,000.
It's no wonder Americans remain anxious. In many parts of the country people don't believe they will be better off in five years than they are today. This anxiety shakes the very foundation of the American Dream.
— Karen Mills, Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School
The Indiana enginemaker believes deeply in the anachronistic idea that investing in its community is smart business. Could it be on to something?
"What they're doing is just taking an intelligent self-interest in their community rather than a selfish interest," says Harvard Business School professor Joseph L. Bower, who has studied Cummins.
The effect of unionization on a country's economic competitiveness is of great interest to — and controversy among — economists. Are countries with higher rates of unionization more or less economically competitive?
It is now well known that Thomas Piketty — the French economist and author of the 700-page bestseller "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" — argues that the free market tends to produce inequalities of wealth that become dynastic and anti-meritocratic. The solution that everyone is talking about is taxing the rich. But in reading the book, it's clear that Piketty recognizes that, "over a long period of time, the main force in favor of greater equality has been the diffusion of knowledge and skills."
Attracting the business community is a necessary strategy for sustaining a cradle to career partnership. Business engagement looks differently in every community, but can take the form of local companies providing communications support, loaned executives, support for the implementation of data-driven action, or strategic planning.
It's been an uphill battle to get San Diego businesses engaged in a City Heights education initiative. In 2011, City Heights Partnership for Children was launched. The idea was to join with San Diego Unified school district and the business community to create a cradle to college to career education effort in City Heights.
But a recent case study by the Harvard Business School's U.S. Competitiveness Project notes how the effort has struggled to connect with San Diego businesses. "On a scale of 1 to 10, I think we are at a 4 on mobilizing the business involvement," City Heights Partnership for Children Executive Director Tad Parzen said.
Launched in 2011, P-TECH offers students a college degree in an innovative six-year program created in partnership with IBM, which will give graduates first crack at jobs.
Read more on P-TECH in the BCG-Gates-HBS report, Lasting Impact: A Business Leader’s Playbook for Supporting America’s Schools.
Young adults born in the early 1980s held an average of just over six jobs each from ages 18 through 26, a Labor Department survey showed Wednesday.
Joe Fuller, a Harvard Business School professor and contributing faculty member to the U.S. Competitiveness Project, said the report contained no big surprises, but "what this data really says is, if you have less educational attainment, you're more likely to be unemployed."
Gov. Jon Huntsman talks with Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter about the importance of competitiveness and growth in America, and the challenge that No Labels is undertaking to help maintain America as a competitive society.
Harvard Business School professor Joe Fuller joins other experts looking behind President Obama's proposal to address the United States "skills gap."
The chief executive of JPMorgan estimates that a worker "skills gap" may be holding back economic growth and keeping unemployment a percentage point or two higher than it otherwise could be.
Harvard Business School Professor Jan Rivkin discusses why businesses must rethink their approach to education and invest locally in order to expand globally. Partnering with educators in their communities helps companies ensure that people have the necessary skills to succeed in the 21st century economy.
Harvard Business School Professor Jan Rivkin discusses implications of the recent PISA 2012 findings with NPR's Claudio Sanchez. The test measures students' proficiency in reading, math and science worldwide, and shows that American 15-year-olds continue to turn in flat results.
In a continuing series on American competitiveness, WGBH's "Innovation Hub" looks at the competitiveness of American workers with Harvard Business School's Rosabeth Moss Kanter and MIT's Elisabeth Reynolds.
As CEO of CKE Restaurants, I have firsthand knowledge of the vital role immigrants play in growing U.S. businesses, spurring innovation and creating jobs. Our broken immigration system hurts individual businesses, like ours, that create jobs and thrive on economic growth.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Boston Consulting Group, and Harvard Business School are collaborating on a joint research effort to understand best practices in business engagement in PK-12 education and to mobilize more business and education leaders to follow those practices.
International education programs do more than advance cultural enrichment; they also are an economic boon to communities that host foreign students and to the students themselves, who improve their job competitiveness.
U.S. baby boomers held their own against workers' skills in other industrial nations but younger people fell behind their peers, according to a study released Tuesday, painting a gloomy picture of the nation's competitiveness and education system.
The United States is in danger of losing its advantage in the humanities and social sciences, just as China and other rivals move toward the U.S. model of a broad education in the liberal arts, a federal panel warned in a report to be released on Wednesday.
The United States is losing its competitiveness in the world economy. Sadly, instead of leading the innovation charge in the twenty-first century, we are becoming victims of policies that restrict our entrepreneurial roots.
Competition from China and other low-wage rivals, coupled with fallout from the 2007-'09 financial crisis, has put American wages under such unprecedented strain that they have shifted into reverse -- not merely stagnating, but falling.
An innovative program between Harvard's graduate schools of business and education helps advance urban school achievement and marks a decade of progress.
Nations that use their human pool poorly are less competitive and under-using half of a nation's population is certainly makes it less compedtitive.
The U.S. is facing a shortfall of 230,000 science, technology, engineering, and math jobs because Americans are not earning enough of the requisite degrees to fill those positions.
Some argue that immigration reform will make more high-tech workers free to come to the US, ultimately improving U.S. competitiveness and job creation.
What should be the key focus of the new Obama administration? Suzanne Rosselet suggests that investing in skills and education are the critical contributors to lifting US competitiveness.
Longer winter breaks and shorter summer vacations are ideas being tested around the country as school districts debate whether to extend the school year.
For the first time in our lives, the promise of upward mobility -- the core of the American Dream -- can no longer be taken for granted. The top priority for President Obama is to enact policies that support job growth and reduce worker anxieties.
The United States can award special green cards for permanent residency to foreign scientists and engineers or it can give out the visas in a random global lottery, but it cannot do both.
In the midst of a hotly contested presidential race in which immigration is a key issue, forget about actual immigration reform anytime soon. As per usual, U.S. politicians are all talk, but no action.
The once steady rise in immigrant entrepreneurship has stalled in the United States, threatening to further slow an already sluggish economic recovery.
Job creation in the United States is hampered by supply and demand, but not in a traditional sense, according to new research from Deloitte. Specifically, the demand for highly skilled and adaptable workers is accelerating, but the skill set of the country's available talent is either outdated or out of stock, Deloitte reports.
Eight ways that manufacturers can prepare a new generation of workers for a smarter and stronger manufacturing future.
To position the United States for the future, substantial investments are needed in research, infrastructure, and education. The most important of these areas to address, however, is education, a key driver of economic competitiveness in the long term.
To better understand the occupational and employer trends for the H-1B visa across metropolitan America, we have conducted the first-ever spatial analysis of the demand for H-1B workers. It reveals the regions and employers requesting the highest number of H-1B workers, as well as information on the programs funded by H-1B visa fees for skills training and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for the existing U.S. workforce.
While job growth continues to be tepid and millions remain unemployed, many employers say they have jobs they can't fill because they can't find qualified workers. But is there really a skills gap or are companies simply not doing enough to find and train workers?
The United States is at risk of losing its competitive advantage in the global marketplace unless it ensures greater and more equal access to higher education, according to a survey released by the OECD.
The most glaring weakness in the current recovery relative to previous ones is the unprecedented public-sector job loss seen over the last three years.
U.S. growth will increasingly depend on selling goods and services to foreign consumers who do not necessarily speak English. Yet American students are woefully unprepared to do that.
Today, as we face a sluggish economic recovery and persistently high unemployment, immigrants can strengthen our efforts to grow the economy, create jobs and keep America competitive. But to truly leverage the talent, energy, ideas and hard work of immigrants, we must adopt rational reforms to our immigration system. What's at stake if we don't? Innovation, growth and jobs.
The United States must recognize that our long-term growth depends on dramatically increasing the quality of our K-12 public education system, according to Stacey Childress.