A strong and well-educated workforce is essential for companies to grow and compete in an ever-increasingly global marketplace. The future of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in the United States depends on enacting policies that allow companies to attract, train and retain the best and brightest minds from around the world.

Workforce Development

TIA’s members all share the goal of bringing jobs back from overseas and attracting businesses to the United States in the years ahead. While tax cuts and regulation reductions for American businesses will give companies incentives to do business in the U.S., there is another vital piece of the puzzle — a talented, educated and prepared workforce.

With a rapidly evolving global marketplace, America must nurture and sustain a highly-skilled workforce that not only keeps companies and jobs here, but also attracts companies from around the world. Additionally, without a robust pipeline of workers trained in the STEM and computer science fields, the U.S. economy will be at a pronounced disadvantage to other nations that have already taken significant steps to prioritize teaching these skills.

Providing workers with opportunities to join the digital workforce through retraining programs, apprenticeships, vocational education, and opportunities to transition into the engineering and technology occupational fields is imperative. These opportunities will enhance Americans’ economic potential and ability to compete for high-paying computing, national security, and advanced manufacturing jobs.

Computer Science and STEM Education

The United States must also cultivate domestic sources of talent, starting from the ground up. TIA’s members are committed to improving and investing in U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and computer science education for current computer science workers as well as the next generation. Our economy and role as a global leader is dependent on more young Americans seeking out the skills necessary for 21st century jobs in sectors including manufacturing, financial services, cybersecurity, health care, law, construction, tech and beyond.

Today, only 40% of K-12 classrooms across America teach computer science. Until computer science education is a national priority, we will continue to lose talent to companies overseas.

Educational curricula should recognize the growing need for computer science and STEM talent in our evolving workforce marketplace and prepare students from primary through higher education accordingly.