Jeff Immelt and Ken Chenault: Comprehensive Approach Needed for Job Growth

The President's Jobs and Competitiveness Council offers solutions to help end massive unemployment.

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American Express CEO Ken Chenault (Getty)

In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, General Electric chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt and American Express CEO and chairman Ken Chenault laid out a series of jobs-council ideas to increase employment, including easing visa applications to attract more tourists and increasing energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

The two are part of the President's Jobs and Competitiveness Council, which is made up of 26 private-sector leaders. The group has compiled data and is urging a comprehensive approach to creating more jobs in a shorter amount of time.

Check out an excerpt from the Op-Ed and tell us what you think about their ideas.

The U.S. economy is resilient, but the inescapable truth is that we have a persistent jobs challenge that demands an aggressive response. That's why earlier this year President Obama asked 26 private-sector leaders to develop ideas that will accelerate job growth and improve America's competitiveness.

The President's Jobs and Competitiveness Council is made up of industry leaders, people running large and small companies, and people standing up for the rights of workers. We've been at work for the past 90 days to develop recommendations for a series of immediate, actionable steps to accelerate job creation. Today we are presenting an initial "progress report" to the president that includes a series of steps that can help spur hiring in the short term in areas like construction, manufacturing, health care and tourism.

No single idea, however well-conceived, will solve our nation's employment challenge. So we're taking a comprehensive approach with eight teams focused on specific areas such as skills and training, regulatory reform, and innovation. We analyzed which actions are critical to accelerating job growth in high-potential sectors, while also addressing areas of concentrated unemployment. We believe that the following "fast-action" steps can support the creation of more than one million jobs within these industries.

Train workers for today's open jobs. There are more than two million open jobs in the U.S., in part because employers can't find workers with the advanced manufacturing skills they need. The private sector must quickly form partnerships with community colleges, vocational schools and others to match career training with real-world hiring needs.

Streamline permitting. Cut red tape so job-creating construction and infrastructure projects can move forward. The administration can take a few simple steps to streamline the process of obtaining permits, without undercutting the protections that our regulatory system provides ...

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

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