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WASHINGTON—Governors from across the country will gather in Nashville, Tennessee, July 10-13, for the National Governors Association (NGA) Summer Meeting to discuss innovative work in states in several areas, including education, workforce, health care, veterans and jobs. Through NGA, governors share best practices, speak with a collective voice on national policy and develop innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.

“I am honored  to host the nation’s governors in Nashville, Tennessee,” said Host Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. “NGA meetings bring us together to consider the important issues facing our states, hear new ideas and share best practices. I look forward to a great weekend of substantive conversation as well as the chance to showcase Tennessee and all we have to offer to my colleagues.”

The Summer Meeting business sessions officially begin Friday, July 11, with a news conference at which the NGA chair, vice chair and host governor will highlight the weekend’s events and governors’ collective priorities. Governors will then be joined at the opening session by the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden.

Following the opening session, the Economic Development and Commerce Committee will go over actions states can take to help small and medium-sized businesses create jobs and grow state economies. Concurrently, the Education and Workforce Committee will convene to talk about the role of education in economic development. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is the featured guest of that committee.

Saturday morning begins with a meeting of the Health and Human Services Committee, where governors will explore the changing health care landscape with a panel of experts and industry leaders. Saturday’s special session will highlight Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin’s Chair’s Initiative, America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow’s Jobs.

The initiative is about making significant improvements to education systems and workforce training programs to better align them with the needs of business and labor markets. It focuses on ensuring that a new generation of workers can secure good jobs with living wages and access to a middle-class lifestyle. Governors will be joined at this session by Stephen J. Rohleder, Accenture group chief executive, North America.

“This work is essential to ensuring a bright future for our children and strengthening our state economies,” said Gov. Fallin. “Part of that is establishing a ‘new minimum’ for economic success: either a two-year or four-year college degree or relevant workforce certification. Without some kind of postsecondary education, a majority of our children and working adults will find it hard to achieve the American Dream and access a fulfilling middle-class life or beyond.”

Saturday afternoon, the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee will discuss employing the nation’s veterans. This session will provide governors an opportunity to share strategies for easing servicemember transition to civilian employment and strengthening the state partnership with key federal agencies and private-sector employers to put veterans on a path toward meaningful employment and long-term success.

Concurrently, the Natural Resources Committee will evaluate critical questions about the nation’s electric grid and integrate state solutions into the national conversation about electric grid modernization. 

Official business will conclude on Sunday with a closing session on the future of Main Street. Governors will be joined by Best Buy President and Chief Executive Officer Hubert Joly.

“The Summer Meeting brings governors together in a unique forum to engage in a dialogue about important issues affecting our states,” said NGA Vice Chair Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “As governors, we face many similar challenges and can learn a great deal from each other’s experiences. I look forward to continuing these valuable conversations with my colleagues.”

Throughout the meeting, governors will attend “governors-only” sessions, which provide an opportunity to exchange ideas about challenges facing states in a private, off-the-record setting. Governors also will recognize their outgoing colleagues and NGA Corporate Fellows who are marking 20 and 25 years of membership. The Summer Meeting will conclude with a welcome to incoming NGA Chair, Gov. Hickenlooper, and the incoming vice chair, who will be announced at the meeting. In addition, Gov. Hickenlooper will unveil his 2014-2015 Chair’s Initiative.

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