Each attendee will choose one working group topic, which will convene three times over the course of the meeting. Facilitated by an expert, each group will focus on developing ideas for concrete, immediate action.

High Performance and Sustainable Buildings

The commercial and residential building sectors will account for 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2011. The good news is that incorporating green building techniques and accelerating retrofits represents a massive economic opportunity. This working group will focus on how to create new financing mechanisms and public-private partnerships to spur economic growth, activate new markets for information technologies, and improve the long-term environmental sustainability of the building sector.

The Jobs Prescription: Building the Healthcare Workforce

In April 2011, the healthcare industry added over 37,000 jobs, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Despite this, reports have indicated that there will be a gap of up to 200,000 physicians and 1 million nurses by 2020. This working group will explore innovative models for improving and expanding professional training in the healthcare sector, strengthening healthcare delivery, and emphasizing wellness and prevention.

Infrastructure Growth: Improving Efficiency, Mobility, and Connectivity

Old, failing, and well behind 21st century standards, American infrastructure is due for an upgrade. This working group will focus on technological innovation and regional collaboration as ways to attract funding to infrastructure development. By addressing these two components, and considering the regulatory hurdles and emerging opportunities, participants will develop ideas for making their efforts bankable.

Made in America: The Future of Manufacturing

Made in America: The Future of Manufacturing The number of Americans employed in manufacturing in the United States has dropped from more than 17 million in the 1990s to less than 12 million today, as American industry continues to decline as a share of both U.S. GDP and global manufacturing. This working group will examine how to improve domestic and international markets for American manufactured goods, strengthen innovation through noncompetitive collaboration, attract foreign investment in American industry, and expand clean energy manufacturing opportunities.

The New Rural Economy: Investing in Towns and Communities

The recent recession has severely impacted rural areas, slowing growth and innovation and leaving behind large numbers of unemployed Americans. There are, however, encouraging signs of renewal. Business development campaigns have led to small business growth, and increased demand for outsourced call centers, IT centers, and related services is bringing investment into rural communities. This working group will explore how to build on these initiatives and drive further investment in rural communities.

Scaling Up Service Corps

Service corps programs –- such as AmeriCorps, CityYear, and Teach For America -– provide participants with job skills while filling essential social service gaps in our communities. But service corps programs need corporate partners to thrive. Corporations can provide financial support and serve as a crucial link in the jobs pipeline by hiring service corps graduates. This working group will explore the expansion of service corps models through corporate partnerships.

Supporting Start-ups and High Growth Businesses

Private sector job growth is largely driven by a subset of dynamic, high growth businesses which create two-thirds of net new jobs annually. With representatives from the investment community, non-profits, government, and high-growth businesses, this working group will focus on developing solutions for providing the financial and human capital needs of these firms, and work to build the supportive ecosystem required to facilitate growth.

STEM Education in K-12

Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education is generally recognized as one of the key components in developing future generations of American workers. This working group will examine strategies for increasing the quality of STEM education, erasing inequality in the educational system, linking classroom teaching to workplace demands, and increasing opportunities for teachers in STEM fields to access continuing education and up-to-date technology.

Operation Employment: Empowering America’s Newest Veterans

This year, joblessness among veterans who have served since 2001 climbed to a soaring 15.2 percent, reaching 20.9 percent among veterans ages 18-24. While today’s veterans are highly trained and skilled, many find that civilian employers don’t understand how their military skills translate to the civilian workforce. This working group will focus on developing strategies to lower unemployment among new veterans by educating employers and equipping veterans with critical tools for success.

Workforce Development: Adapting Skills to a Changing Market

Workers today must navigate the rapidly changing demands of a global economy, quickly adapting to gain the skills required for competitive jobs. The U.S. is facing a skills mismatch, as some high-growth industries – particularly advanced engineering, technology, and clean energy – have difficulty hiring workers with the skills they need. This working group will look at ways to train the 21st century workforce by addressing industry needs, improving data reporting, and supporting particular groups such as youth, the aging workforce, and individuals with poor English skills.