For decades we’ve been telling people to get a college degree, and they’ll be able to compete for the growth jobs with higher incomes. But despite our noblest intentions, this message discredits the tremendous potential and skills of 70% of American adults who don’t have that diploma. In today’s digital economy, it’s not necessary that there be a singular path that people take to achieve a good career and lasting success. As a nation, we must chart a new course, one that provides greater prosperity and equal dignity for all Americans.
The solution is the creation of a skills-based labor market that will help unleash the potential of our nation’s best asset: our skilled and talented workforce. Everyone should to be able to easily demonstrate the skills they have as well as learn new skills that they need to compete in today’s economy.
Ten months ago we launched Skillful in Colorado and Phoenix. Through our work, and the work of our founding partners LinkedIn, Arizona State University, and the state of Colorado we are helping job seekers access a variety of choices to achieve lasting success; making it easier for employers to find the skilled talent they need to grow; and providing data and insights to educators to help them train people in the skills required to compete in today’s economy.
Building on this effort, we recently partnered with Microsoft to develop a video that helps illuminate the importance of developing a skills-based labor market that will give American workers the opportunities they need to prosper. I encourage you to watch and share your thoughts in the comment section below.
The challenge of our time is to make sure that all Americans benefit from the wave of digital revolutions that have upended modern life. It will take the leadership of many to achieve this ambitious goal, but I’m confident that together we can create a path to real opportunity for all Americans.