2012 Working Groups

CGI America participants each contribute to a topic-specific Working Group of their choosing. These groups will convene multiple times over the two days and provide opportunities to share knowledge, build partnerships, and generate commitments around the group's area of focus.

Advanced Manufacturing Strengthening the Pipeline

Advanced manufacturing is a cornerstone of America's economy, providing middle-class jobs and driving exports, national security innovation, and more sustainable production. This Working Group will support ecosystems that attract and grow manufacturing companies through collaborative strategies, including national partnerships, regional clusters, urban initiatives, and new technology. This group will tackle the challenges manufacturers face along the pipeline, from product conception to point-of-sale.


Clean Electricity & Efficiency Scaling Smart, Efficient, and Renewable Energy

In 2011, the American clean energy sector grew at a rate of 8.3 percent—double that of the overall economy— demonstrating its critical role as an economic driver. Addressing the electrical spectrum from generation to distribution to consumption, the Clean Electricity & Efficiency Working Group will develop new ways to finance scalable projects, increase energy efficiencies, and spur the innovation and adoption of commercial- scale technologies. Objectives include achieving deployment at scale through pilots and demonstrations, creatively bringing capital to bear through financial mechanisms, creating market demand and building the business case for clean energy and efficiency, spurring partnerships and synergies, and creating jobs.


Clean Fuel & Transportation Leveraging Clean Energy for Cleaner Mobility

Nearly 30 percent of all American energy is used by the transportation industry. Despite the development of innovative transit projects, advances in biofuel technologies, growing natural gas production, and increased access to electric vehicle infrastructure, America still uses oil for 94 percent of its transportation needs. The Clean Fuel & Transportation Working Group will foster partnerships that are focused on increasing the adoption of new mobility technologies and developing strategies to spur investment in revolutionary transportation projects.


Early Childhood Education Investing in Smart from the Start

Early Childhood Education (ECE) has proven to be a smart investment in our children’s future, resulting in increased levels of academic achievement and improved high school graduation rates. ECE is also a significant and effective tool for preventing later interventions that are more costly, as students with early learning experiences have been shown to be less reliant on social services. The Early Childhood Education Working Group will take action to improve access to high- quality classroom materials, digital learning supports, and professional development for teachers, all while scaling effective models to provide children with a greater chance for success in society.


Entrepreneurship Building Ecosystems for High-Growth Entrepreneurship

Young companies are not only leading the path of innovation, they are also responsible for nearly all net job creation in the United States over the last 30 years. For the entrepreneurs leading these companies to succeed on a mass scale, they will need supportive ecosystems to help them thrive. With the goal of identifying optimal strategies for creating a supportive, high-growth entrepreneurship ecosystem, the Entrepreneurship Working Group will explore what lessons can be learned from successes across the country and how organizations from a variety of sectors can help start-ups in their communities flourish.


Financial Inclusion Building a Path to Financial Security

One in four American households lacks access to key financial products and services, including savings and checking accounts. Developing tailored financial services and tools will widen participation in the economic recovery and enable millions of Americans to save, manage debt, build credit, and move toward financial security. By catalyzing collaborations among financial institutions, corporations, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, and cutting-edge technology firms, the Financial Inclusion Working Group will promote greater economic opportunities and advance financial capabilities for underserved populations.


Housing Recovery Accelerating America's Housing Recovery

The housing and foreclosure crisis continues to impede a strong economic recovery in the United States. More than four million people have lost their homes due to foreclosure, and today nearly 11 million homeowners owe more than their property is worth. By linking financial institutions and investors with state and local governments, mission-driven housing organizations, and real estate companies, the Housing Recovery Working Group will propel the cross-sector approaches required to respond to the complex challenges surrounding distressed residential properties.


Reconnecting Youth Empowering America's Untapped Talent

America's young adults have been among those hardest hit by the economic crisis, with an unemployment rate nearly double that of the general population. Today, one in six Americans ages 16 to 24 is not engaged in school or work, which presents a key opportunity to build skills and talent among these potential leaders and workers. The Reconnecting Youth Working Group will explore and create strategies that unlock opportunities to connect youth with education and employment, while building new sources of skilled and diverse talent for employers.


Small Business Paving the Way to Main Street Confidence

The United States has more than 27 million small businesses, representing 99.7 percent of all firms and employing about half of the country’s private sector workers. Bringing together lenders, businesses, and thought leaders will allow the Small Business Working Group to identify the conditions necessary for small businesses and micro-enterprises to survive and prosper. This Working Group will hold a diagnostic discussion on how to rebuild confidence and encourage lending to small businesses, while exploring the alternative forms of financing available to them and creating partnerships that promote economic growth.


STEM Education Preparing America's Next Generation of Innovators

Today, 72 percent of high school graduates are unprepared for entry-level college courses in mathematics and science in the United States. As a nation, the U.S. is not adequately preparing our students for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions. The STEM Education Working Group will focus on three major areas: increasing the number of girls and minority students pursuing STEM field studies, developing strategies for attracting more highly-qualified STEM teachers, and increasing opportunities for afterschool STEM education programs.


Wellness Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Choices for a Thriving Population

Controlling health care costs is critical for economic development and growth. Chronic illnesses, many of which are preventable, account for a staggering 75 percent of the nation’s estimated $2.6 trillion in annual health care costs. Promoting healthy lifestyle choices can lower health care costs and create a more productive workforce. The Wellness Working Group will examine how individuals and communities can better manage their health and wellness, particularly highlighting innovative community-based wellness efforts, nutrition and food systems strategies, and scalable strategies for reaching populations that are particularly at-risk.


Workforce Development Building Pathways to Learning and Employment

Strengthening the links between education and employment is critical to creating a sustainable workforce and fueling business and economic growth. By 2018, an estimated 63 percent of all jobs will require at least some post-secondary education, yet the majority of working adults today do not possess an industry- recognized credential or post-secondary degree. The Workforce Development Working Group will explore “learn and earn” strategies, as well as emerging approaches to learning and skill recognition— including digital badges, open-source learning, and prior learning assessments.