This week, hundreds of participants descended on Washington, D.C. to take part in the second annual Building a Grad Nation Summit and to welcome the release of Civic Enterprises‘ 2012 Building a Grad Nation Report. Corporate Voices is honored to have taken part in this year’s Civic Marshall Plan by lending its expertise to the 2012 report as it explores the ways in which the business community can participate in ending the high school dropout crisis through the Business Case for Education section.

For more than a decade, Corporate Voices has provided leading best-practice employers a forum to improve the lives of working families while strengthening our nation’s economy. Currently, Corporate Voices is engaging the business community in advancing talent development practices, postsecondary education completion and workforce readiness training through its Learn and Earn initiative. This initiative seeks to identify, promote and encourage innovative partnerships between employers, community colleges and other higher education institutions to help today’s “working learners”-often low-skilled young adults-complete their education while working.

“Forward-looking employers recognize the value of investing today to shape the best possible workforce of tomorrow,” said Corporate Voices’ Executive Director, John Wilcox. “The work of our strategic partners at Civic Enterprises highlights that employers who embrace innovative partnerships with educational institutions can provide a new generation of workers the immeasurable value associated with higher education, a rewarding career and the skills they will need to thrive in the uncertain global economy of the future-all while serving their bottom-line business needs and earning a measurable return on their investment.”

Corporate Voices expanded upon this vision by participating in this year’s Summit alongside the Lumina Foundation and others. Executive Director and COO John Wilcox explored how postsecondary education completion is necessary to prepare all students for a global economy, and Senior Manager for Workforce Readiness, Sara Toland highlighted ways in which organizations can sustain youth initiatives in a tough economic climate.