A U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary says lifelong learning is more important than ever in closing the skills gap for an effective workforce. The Assistant Secretary of the Employment and Training Administration Jane Oates has been visiting Michigan and Wisconsin over the last few days. She was at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac Thursday to moderate a panel on sustainable workforces. It was titled, “A Hallmark Summit: Connecting Communities for a Sustainable Workforce.” Oates says having the right technical skills for a job really does take a lifelong learning commitment these days.She says education is no longer a one way street where you choose academics or a technical education after high school. Oates also says it’s important for high school students to get some work-based learning so they become adept at problem solving. The summit also included the participation of state legislators, educators, business and economic development leaders. It was broadcast from Fond du Lac to MPTC’s Beaver Dam and West Bend campuses.