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The Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs, on Thursday announced a new, multiyear project to "reform companies' hiring and talent management practices" to emphasize the value of skills -- rather than just college degrees. The group also is seeking to improve equity in both hiring and advancement on the job.

“Opportunities for employment and advancement can and should come from more than degree programs. As leaders of some of the largest companies in America, our goal should be to recognize individuals’ potential to grow and contribute to our businesses,” Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors and the chair of the Business Roundtable Education and Workforce Committee, said in a statement.

The roundtable said more than 80 of its member companies have agreed to participate in the effort and to change their recruitment and assessment strategies to better recognize and evaluate skills of all job seekers.