|By Steve Tarter, Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.|
The CEO of
"Learning has never been so important," said
"The global economy is so different from when we were growing up," said Rust, who also serves as chairman of the
Illustrating his point about change, Rust displayed a photo of how mail used to be delivered within the
"How the world has changed. Now mail may become a thing of the past," he said, referring to modern electronic delivery systems.
Pointing to changes on the manufacturing side, Rust, who sits on the
"You'll have workers and robots working side by side and learning from one another," he said.
Having served as chairman of the
"(Students) need those basic skills to compete in the world," he said.
Citing "A Nation at Risk," a 1983 report that suggested that America was in danger of falling behind the rest of the world in the education of its youth, Rust said the problem was even more critical today.
"Thirty years later, our country is still at risk. There's an ever-widening skills gap," he said, pointing to an estimated 120,000 jobs going unfilled in central
"Despite the fact there are 12 million unemployed people in this country, it's still hard for companies to find skilled workers."
On the positive side, Rust cited new educational efforts gaining traction such as the
More than 200 million lessons have been dispensed since
Asked by an audience member what he would say to
The challenge to the president is to find ways to remove "a fog of uncertainty" that U.S. business now faces, he said, referring to mounting taxes and federal regulations.
"Businesses crave as much certainty as they can get," said Rust, adding that he still enjoys spending time on his
In introducing Rust,
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|