Welcome to the inaugural Close It Summit. Why are we all here? We all know the game is changing. Innovate+Educate decided in late 2012 that we no longer wanted to sit in the bullpen. We wanted to be in the game in a big way. So we asked our national friends to partner with us to bring together a summit with innovators and thought leaders from across industry, government and education working on solutions. And, they have been great team players. We thank everyone for their commitment and time over the past 9 months to pull o! the inaugural Close It Summit. So, what is the overall message we have gotten as we have put together this summit? There must be a new education to employment system created. While many of us have acquired skills in nontraditional ways (no formal degree), those skills must be identified by employers for a system change. We hope that this summit will unveil new strategies for hiring, training and finding talent. Most importantly, we hope this Summit will inspire each of us to believe that there is a sense of urgency around the issues we will be addressing over the next few days. In the 1931 definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams, he stated: “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.” This summit is really about rebuilding The American Dream for all of us. Here’s to Closing It. Game On.