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June 21, 2001
Labor Department Holds 'Workforce Summit'
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Labor Department held its "21st Century Workforce Summit" on Wednesday, hosting speeches by President Bush and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and announcing several new initiatives, including one with Monster.com.

Bush said education is the key to preparing Americans for a competitive work force.

"Our responsibilities are clear: we should try to make it easier for people to find good jobs by giving them the education and training they need to succeed," Bush said, according to USA Today.

He added that "we should help them keep good jobs, and encourage employers to do more for their workers.

"And third, we owe them a chance to build a nest egg that will help them maintain a high standard of living in their retirement years."

The summit brought together labor leaders, employers, and government officials to discuss America's changing employment outlook and the obstacles faced by workers and employers alike.

"Our country must understand the workforce changes that are occurring at an accelerating pace," said Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. "We need to focus on the skills gap within the work force, the demographic changes facing the work force, and the future of the workplace."

The department used the event to announce several new job initiatives, including a partnership with Monster.com, the job-search site, and creation of a national high school for youth in the Job Corps, which trains low-income teens for the workplace.

The school will incorporate Internet and distance learning. It will also give participants the chance to work toward a real high school diploma, instead of the general equivalency diploma, or GED.

In his prepared remarks, Greenspan said "learning will increasingly need to be a lifelong activity."

"It is evident that we need to foster a flexible education system - one that integrates work and training and that serves the needs both of experienced workers at different stages in their careers and of students embarking on their initial course of study," Greenspan said.

To view the USA Today article, click here.
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