Improving infrastructure and recruiting and training a skilled energy workforce are just two of the items on the agenda for the Council on Competitiveness.  

International President Lonnie R. Stephenson in September joined the Council on Competitiveness, a Washington-based nonprofit whose mission is advancing American prosperity and increasing the United States’ competitiveness in the global marketplace.

“I’m looking forward to working with the council to increase opportunities for working people in the U.S. and to make sure that as the economy grows, all of us share the wealth created, not just those at the top,” Stephenson said.

The Council on Competitiveness brings CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national laboratory directors who are committed to working together to share ideas and advocate for policies that promote economic growth. In the past, the group has pushed for infrastructure improvements, funding for science and innovation and education reform.

For Stephenson, one of the main motivations for joining is group’s focus on the future of the energy industry.

“We know there are challenges ahead in the energy industry, particularly a looming shortage of workers at our nation’s utilities,” he said. “I’m hopeful that by joining this group of national leaders, we’ll be able to shine a light on the fact that 50 percent of utility workers are set to retire in the next decade and work together to find a solution. Energy runs nearly everything we do, so the future of the American economy depends on it.”

“We are thrilled to have President Stephenson join the council as the newest labor union representative,” said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness. “His experience and passion for transforming America’s workforce will be integral in the Council’s ongoing effort to drive productivity and prosperity for this and future generations.”

Stephenson joins American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and North America’s Building Trades President Sean McGarvey on the council as an advocate for working people. He plans to speak to the council’s National Competitiveness Forum on Dec. 15 in Washington.

More of the council’s recent work and recommendations can be viewed on its website.