About Us

America is facing uncharted economic and workforce development crossroads. To remain globally competitive and advance both community and individual prosperity, our nation must proactively tackle the foundational skills gap. 

The National Work Readiness Council is a national nonprofit workforce development, training, and advocacy organization formed in 2003 and officially incorporated in 2007 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Founding partners included the New York Department of Labor; Workforce Florida, now CareerSource Florida; New Jersey Employment and Training Commission; the departments of labor and training for the State of Rhode Island, State of Washington, and the District of Columbia; and Junior Achievement Worldwide. Early funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Institute for Literacy, and the founding partners.

The initial vision was to identify entry level foundational skills that job seekers need to pursue career pathways. The Council convened employers across industries, chambers of commerce, unions, educators, and workforce training professionals nationwide and built a common language and standards to define foundational career readiness. The vision was expanded based on collaborative partner research such as the U.S. Department of Labor O*NET Content Model; U.S. Department of Labor Building Blocks Competency Model; U.S. Department of Education Employability Skills Framework; National Network Business and Industry Associations Common Employability Skills; and Center for Literacy, Education and Employment Equipped for the Future standards.

Looking ahead, the Council is focused on:

  • Building a coalition of like-minded professionals to amplify foundational career readiness policy.
  • Researching and identifying the academic skills, soft skills, and digital skills most in-demand by employers.
  • Sharing and advancing the implementation of foundational career readiness best practices through education and workforce stakeholder, media, and community outreach.