Because a skilled workforce directly impacts our ability to keep the economy growing and businesses strong, we need employers to be actively involved in skills development. Locally, businesses have to be clear about their needs and help drive training by playing a role in the development of curriculum and credentialing programs, forming partnerships with educational institutions and government at all levels — and in some cases, funding new training facilities. Educational providers, nonprofits, labor organizations and others have to craft ways to meet those needs. When all of these entities work together, one result is a workforce that can quickly adapt to meet the needs of employers looking to thrive in the global economy. Another result? A thriving middle class where anyone, no matter their background, has a chance to climb the ladder of opportunity.