Weekly News from COBRT
June 13, 2017

The United States is experiencing a workforce skills gap that is holding our economy back and threatening our economic future. In particular, there are three types of skills gaps in today's workforce, often acting in combination:

  • A lack of individuals with fundamental employability skills, such as the ability to use basic math, communicate effectively, read technical manuals, work successfully in teams and participate in complex problem-solving;

  • A lack of workers who have the specialized skills needed to fill many trade positions; and

  • A lack of applicants with the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills needed for many of today's jobs. 

Closing the skills gap is a work in progress, but business leaders are moving forward on several fronts to tackle this challenge. 

Business Roundtable (BRT) has highlighted some of the ways that America's largest employers are working with academia to increase the pipeline of skilled and diverse workers to join their companies and to upgrade and transform the skills of their current employees.

Read the full BRT report here:

COBRT is excited to be welcoming two new members to the team:

Lisa Gregg - Member Outreach Executive

Alex Hopkins - Radio and Social Outreach Specialist

Denver Business Journal and Colorado Business Roundtable bring you a unique CEO Panel event, View from the Top. Join us on Friday, July 11th at History Colorado as we explore the unique challenges, opportunities and lessons learned from some of Colorado's top CEO's.

A View from the Top
Save the date: July 11, 2017

7:00- Check-In, Coffee service
7:30-9:00 Panel

Jacque Hinman, CEO of CH2M
John Hayes, CEO of Ball Corp.
Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global

Please visit the media page to access videos, audio recordings, and slides from the Western Pathways Conference this year.

Highlights include:

  • Videos of Major Keynotes
  • Audio Recordings of Breakout Sessions
  • Conference Photos

Denver Public Schools  has taken a major step forward in transforming the city's education model to more closely align with how it's done in Switzerland.

Eighty juniors and seniors have been selected to pilot the school's CareerResidency program, a pathway where they'll select a career path and then work directly with employers while simultaneously earning credit toward high school graduation, as well as postsecondary credentials toward a two-year college degree.

Colorado gubernatorial candidate Doug Robinson wrote an op-ed appearing this week in Colorado Politics - formerly The Colorado Statesman.

"If we are going to be serious about addressing the challenges that our education system faces, the starting point in our conversations shouldn't be money; it should be our goals. 


Only once we have these plans in place can we then ask, 'How much will these solutions cost?'"

Join Bill Miller of the D.C. Business Roundtable as he shares an important update with Business Roundtable companies in Colorado. 

The Business Roundtable has new leadership as Governor Engler retired after years of faithful service to the BRT. Bill will share BRT plans under new CEO, Joshua Bolten and discuss tax reform, health care reform, President Trump's budget proposal, and other pressing business issues.

This event is invite only. 
If you would like to attend, please email Jeff Wasden

CoinDesk Research's  Q1 2017 State of Blockchain report summarizes key trends, data and events in the public and enterprise blockchain sectors in the first quarter of 2017.

The first quarter of 2017 was a big one for the blockchain space.

From the spark of what has become a massive cryptocurrency rally to the emergence of major enterprise efforts like the launch of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the first quarter may ultimately come to be seen as a defining one for the industry.

NSBA - Tax reform discussions are ongoing on Capitol Hill, however how best to approach a reform bill, and when, differs between House and Senate tax-writers and leadership.

Read the latest Tax Reform Update

One of the greatest obstacles to increased economic growth is an impossibly complex and ever-changing tax code that is biased against savings and investment. Regularly ranked among the top issues facing small businesses, federal taxes are a huge frustration with countless sun-setting tax provisions, retroactive extensions and legalese permeating even the simplest of tax rules and proposals.

Leaders urge action in a letter to President Trump & Congressional Leaders, 

"There is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform the U.S. tax system during the 115th Congress.  Business Roundtable CEOs are confident that the Administration and Congressional leaders can reach agreement on a common tax reform plan and enact comprehensive tax reform this Congress.  We thank you for holding listening sessions and hearings on the importance of tax reform.

Now is the time to shift from listening to action.  We urge you to undertake this effort with the highest priority and move forward with pro-growth legislation that will put America on a path of accelerated economic growth with higher wages and greater employment opportunities for all Americans.


As the leaders of America's largest businesses, we urge Congress and the Administration to work together to enact permanent, pro-growth tax reform this year in a fair and fiscally responsible manner.  We know how challenging it is to achieve tax reform meeting these objectives, and we have witnessed the obstacles to past tax reform efforts for over a decade.  For this reason, we provide you our commitment to put all our corporate credits and special deductions on the table.  We stand ready to work with you to achieve this goal.  We are confident that any obstacles can be overcome for the benefit of the U.S. economy."

The letter was signed by the following CEOs:

Nicholas K. Akins
American Electric Power

Tom Linebarger
Cummins Inc.
Ajay Banga

Andrew N. Liveris
The Dow Chemical Company
Greg Brown
Motorola Solutions
Kevin A. Lobo
Stryker Corporation

Wes Bush
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Doug McMillon

Kenneth I. Chenault
American Express Company

Larry J. Merlo
CVS Health
Mark J. Costa
Eastman Chemical Company

Brian T. Moynihan
Bank of America Corporation
James Dimon
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Dennis A. Muilenburg
The Boeing Company
John A. Hayes
Ball Corporation

Virginia M. Rometty
IBM Corporation
Marillyn A. Hewson
Lockheed Martin Corporation

Randall L. Stephenson
AT&T Inc.
Jacqueline Hinman

Julie Sweet
Jeffrey R. Immelt

Mark A. Weinberger

Business leaders from the United States, Canada and Mexico met in Washington to discuss the importance of modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and further strengthening North American economic relations. 

Business Roundtable Chairman Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co. hosted the meeting in partnership with Linda Hasenfratz, Chair of the Business Council of Canada, and Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, Chairman of the Consejo Mexicano de Negocios.

Read more

Listen at KDMT 1690 AM Denver's Money Talk from 
4-5 p.m. Monday through Friday or  live stream online. Podcasts are available at  www.cobrt.com/radio and on your favorite podcast app the day after live airing.

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