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The American economy is undergoing a transformation unlike anything we have seen since the Industrial Revolution. Technological change is dramatically reshaping the economic landscape; automation and artificial intelligence are changing the very nature of work. By harnessing the same digital technology that is disrupting our economy, we can connect all Americans—especially the almost seven in ten Americans without a college degree—to new opportunities and training for in-demand jobs.
Today, there are more unfilled jobs than Americans looking for work. By focusing on skills, America can help workers access new opportunities while also bringing more people into the labor force.
Governors are uniquely poised to seize the opportunity that this historic moment represents. They can bring together key players in the workforce to help people develop the skills to compete and businesses find the workers with the right skills.
BUILDING A SKILLS-BASED LABOR MARKET
THAT WORKS FOR ALL AMERICANS
To transition to a skills-based labor market, every one needs to play a role.
PILLARS OF A SKILLS-BASED LABOR MARKET
GOVERNORS CAN HELP DETERMINE
THE FUTURE OF WORK
Technology is rapidly transforming our labor market and workers and businesses are struggling to keep up. States’ ability to experiment and innovate within state lines has made them incredible “laboratories of democracy.” Today, they are laboratories for our growing digital economy, too, and are well-positioned to develop creative solutions to address this challenge.
Developed by the Rework America Task Force, the following policy ideas outline a robust platform to build a labor market that will strengthen state economies in the 21st century.
BUILDING THE LABOR MARKET OF THE FUTURE
To find practical solutions to this urgent challenge, governors must actively collaborate across the aisle and across the country as well as embrace new methods and partners. By leading state government in partnership with key private sector stakeholders, governors can deliver real results for workers and businesses.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD STATE-SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
The Rework America Task Force has prepared a sampling of state-specific labor market information. They represent a few among the states with open gubernatorial races, meaning an incumbent governor is not seeking re-election; and states in which we feel a newly elected governor will have a clear opportunity to support their state economies through a skills-based approach to labor market modernization. These states are already demonstrating an interest in helping further develop the states’ workforce to thrive in the 21st century. In aggregate, these state examples are diverse in terms of geography, political orientation and size. We believe action by a vanguard of innovative governors will create national momentum.
The Rework America Task Force seeks to transform America’s outdated labor market so that all Americans –especially the nearly 70% without a college degree –have opportunities to thrive in the digital economy. This coalition of diverse leaders from technology, business, labor, education and the public sector is committed to developing bold, practical, non-partisan solutions to building a skills-based labor market that works for all Americans and supports the competitiveness of the American economy. The Task Force will define and advance policies and practices among employers, educators, policymakers, technologists and workers themselves so that all are better equipped to anticipate, adapt to and harness for good the rapid pace of technological change transforming our economy. By establishing clear, accessible paths to quality jobs and lifelong training in the digital economy, the Task Force is working to enable the dignity of work for all Americans.
Diverse Cross-Sector Workforce Leaders Join Together to Transform America’s Labor Market to a 21st Century, Skills-Driven Model
Partnership of leaders of business, technology, labor, academic and policy communities, will work with America’s employers, workers, job seekers, and educators in urgent effort to disrupt the labor market and provide good jobs.
New York, NY, September 27, 2017 – Stepping up to the challenge of including all Americans in the opportunities of the digital economy, the Markle Foundation announced today the formation of the Rework America Task Force (Rework America), a coalition of influential leaders with diverse backgrounds and experience who have joined together in service of modernizing the nation’s outdated labor market and unlocking economic opportunity for American job seekers, workers, and businesses.
Rework America is chaired by Denis McDonough, former White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, and includes members from some of the world’s leading organizations and institutions – including Siemens USA, Microsoft Corp., IBM, Princeton University, Hearsay Systems, the Walmart Foundation and Coursera. The Markle Foundation Advisory Board – chaired by Zoë Baird, CEO and President of the Markle Foundation; with vice chairs Mitch Daniels, former Governor of Indiana and current President of Purdue University, and Penny Pritzker, Chairman, PSP Capital and Pritzker Realty Group; and members James Manyika, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Dr. Rajiv Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation; Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer; and Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Chief Diversity Officer & Senior Vice President, Time Warner, Inc. – will work closely with Rework America, providing counsel and feedback.
The goal of Rework America is to fix America’s broken labor market. Across the country, six-million-plus jobs are unfilled because employers can’t find skilled workers, yet millions of Americans with in-demand skills, or job seekers who are capable of getting those skills, are unemployed or underemployed. Rework America seeks comprehensive reform toward a skills-based labor market which includes training workers over the course of their lives in the skills that employers need to compete in the 21st-century economy.
The task force will seek to use the same digital technology that is disrupting the economy today to rewire the labor market; connecting relevant stakeholders, trainers and educators, and bringing new clarity and transparency to the job-search process so workers develop in-demand skills. Rework America will highlight successful existing training programs and deploy new training experiments to create practical solutions that will transform America’s labor market from one based largely on traditional credentials, such as degrees and work history, to one rooted in the skills valued in the digital economy.