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Peter L. Levin founded Amida Technology Solutions in 2013. Amida is an open source technology firm that focuses on data management with a specialization in cybersecurity. Immediately before founding Amida, he served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he led their health record modernization initiative. In this role he co-created and led the inter-agency development of the Blue Button personal health record (now the most widely used PHR in the country), the creation and implementation of the open source electronic health record alliance (OSEHRA.org), and delivery of the first clinical components of the integrated electronic health record with DoD. Today, millions of people use the services he built while at the VA. Prior to joining the VA in 2009, he was an executive director of the open source network security company Astaro (acquired by Sophos), the lead investor and board member of the electronic design automation (EDA) company NeoLinear (acquired by Cadence), and co-founder of the GPS-based cybersecurity company Zanio (acquired by Boeing). He was also co-founding CEO of DAFCA, an EDA company focused on semiconductor test, a venture partner of Ventizz Capital Partners in Dusseldorf, and a general partner of Techno Venture Management in Munich and Boston. Peter was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator during the first Bush administration, a Clinton White House Fellow in the Office of Management and Budget, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in the Department Mathematical Physics at the Technical University of Darmstadt, and a winner of an NIST Advanced Technology Program award. He is the co-author of more than 50 technical articles ranging from satellite navigation and cybersecurity to computer simulations and semiconductor test. He holds patents in chip design and GPS-based authentication, and his policy essays have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Huffington Post, politico.com, Techonomy, The Hill, and the White House website. Peter began his career at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and was later associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering at Boston University. His academic research focused on electromagnetic and acoustic field theory and high performance computing, and he was tenured at both institutions. Now he is a consulting professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and a non-resident fellow at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University. Peter received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and was a post-doctoral student and DAAD Visiting Scientist at the Institute for High Voltage Engineering at the Technical University of Munich.
Jimmy Chen is the founder and CEO of Propel, a company that builds world-class software to make safety net services more user-friendly. They are the makers of Fresh EBT, a free smartphone app that empowers over a million families nationally who receive food stamp benefits (SNAP) to improve their financial health. Previously, Jimmy was a Product Manager at Facebook, where he led the Facebook Groups team. Jimmy has also worked at LinkedIn and Yahoo. Jimmy studied Symbolic Systems/Human-Computer Interaction at Stanford University and lives in Brooklyn, NY with his dog.
Panelists: Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation Tim O’Reilly, CEO, O’Reilly Media Interviewer Michael Chui, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute and Rework America Task Force Member "Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained" Presented by McKinsey Global Institute & Churchill Club Automation technologies are already enabling new industries and occupations and taking over tedious and dangerous work. As adoption of artificial intelligence and robotics spreads, it will drive growth, raise productivity, and increase societal prosperity. At the same time, these technologies will have a profound transformational effect on the workforce. The labor implications of automation are the focus of much public debate: Will there be enough work in the future for humans to do, and, if so, what will that work be? What occupations will thrive, and which ones will wither? What are the implications for skills and wages? How might individuals, sectors, and entire countries weather the multiple complicated transitions that automation will entail over the next dozen years? Read the full report by McKinsey Global Institute
As President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Dean C. Garfield leads the most effective and respected global advocacy organization for the world’s most innovative and dynamic companies. Dean leads a team of professionals who, combined, bring nearly three centuries of advocacy experience to bear on the world’s most complex policy challenges. Since joining ITI in 2009, Dean has leveraged his skills as a high integrity, high performance leader with proven visionary and strategic skills and demonstrated operational and organizational acumen to double the organization’s membership, revenue, and impact. Dean has worked to foster a policy environment that embraces cutting-edge research, game changing technologies, and pragmatic solutions as central to achieving sustained job creation and economic growth. Under Dean’s leadership, ITI has defined the tech agenda for global policymakers, expanded its membership and influence, and established a research foundation that serves as the preeminent thought leader on innovation. ITI has deepened its expertise on issues ranging from trade to taxes, from cloud computing to core standards, from AI to advanced manufacturing. During Garfield’s tenure, ITI’s advocacy experts have helped to achieve critical legislative victories in the U.S. and internationally, knocking down barriers to innovation, strengthening America’s economic competitiveness, and advancing sustainable technologies that will be at the heart of 21st century innovation. Prior to joining ITI, Dean served as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). While there, he developed the association's global strategies, securing accomplishment of key operational objectives, forged industry alliances on behalf of the MPAA, and led the MPAA's Research and Technology Departments. Dean also represented the MPAA before legislative bodies and at key conferences around the world, including the European Commission and Oxford University. Dean also served as Vice President of Legal Affairs at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). He helped to develop the organization's comprehensive intellectual property policy and litigation strategies and managed several of the United States' most important intellectual property cases, including the Grokster/Kazaa case, from its filing to it successful resolution at the Supreme Court. Dean has been regularly recognized for his strong motivational and diplomatic skills, his commitment to consensus building, and for achieving results. In 2016, and 2015, Dean was named “Top Lobbyist” by The Hill for his leadership of ITI. Dean was honored with the first REACH Breaking Barriers Award recognizing him for his deep commitment to leading the world’s most dynamic industry in its efforts to support and inspire young people to develop the important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills they must have to become tomorrow’s scientific problem solvers. Dean was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Trade Advisory Council and was recently appointed to the Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Automation. Dean serves on the boards of College for Every Student, the SEED School of Washington, D.C. and serves as the Board President of Aiden Montessori School. He has been featured in several national publications, on National Public Radio, CNBC, and Bloomberg TV News, representing the tech industry on the issues that matter most to the sector. He received a joint degree from New York University School of Law and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Administration and International Affairs at Princeton University. He was a Ford-Rockefeller as well as a Root-Tilden-Snow scholar. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Dean is a naturalized U.S. citizen who resides in Washington, DC with his wife and two daughters.
Dr. Anthony Jackson leads Asia Society’s work in education which strives to enable all students to graduate high school prepared for college, for work in the global economy, and for 21st century global citizenship. Jackson oversees the Center for Global Education at Asia Society, a global platform for collaboratively advancing education for global competence for all. The Center’s multi-faceted approach includes the International Studies Schools Network, a network of over 35 schools around the United States that systematically integrate a global focus within the curriculum; Global Learning Beyond School, which supports globalizing youth programs including afterschool and community programs; the Global Cities Education Network, a learning community of high-performing Asian and North American urban school districts dedicated to solving common high-priority problems of practice and policy; and China Learning Initiatives, which provide national leadership to support learning of Chinese language and culture. Trained in both developmental psychology and education, Jackson is one of the nation’s leading experts on secondary school education reform and adolescent development. Jackson directed the Carnegie Corporation’s Task Force on the Education of Young Adolescents which produced the ground breaking report Turning Points: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century, and co-authored the seminal follow-up blueprint Turning Points 2000, considered one of the most influential books on middle school reform. His most recent work is Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World. Jackson holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan.
At one of the largest technology conferences in the world, Markle Foundation CEO & President Zoë Baird participated in a lively discussion on how technology and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the modern workforce. The panel debated the question: What is the responsibility of technology and business leaders - particularly those reaping the rewards of data - to develop accessible, data-driven resources that can help everyone share in the economic benefits of the digital era? How can this type of innovation be achieved? Panelists: Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation Sangheon Lee, Research Director A.I. & Special Advisor, International LabourOrganization Kristina Tsvetanova, CEO and Co-Founder, BLITAB Technology GmbH Michela Magas, Founder, Stromatolite Edward-Isaac Dovere, Chief Washington Correspondent, POLITICO
Claudia Husemann is Senior Director of Strategic Communications for the Markle Foundation. She and her team develop and execute communications campaigns to advance the work of the Foundation and its workforce initiatives, Skillful and the Rework America Task Force. She is intent on shifting public perceptions to help people see the value, variety and increasing sophistication of skilled work and the pathways to secure these good jobs. With Skillful and the Rework America Task Force, she is placing skills-based principles at the heart of a national conversation on the Future of Work in order to prompt behavioral shifts among employers, educators, government and workforce development organizations to support the success of the 70% of Americans without college degrees. She brings to Markle decades of experience in strategic communications, with strengths in positioning and messaging, executive thought leadership, creative storytelling and strategic media relations. Prior to joining Markle, Claudia was a global client relationship manager at Edelman, the world’s largest communications marketing firm. Throughout her career, she has worked with market-leading companies including Microsoft, Intel and Deloitte. With Deloitte, she led the development of award-winning issues-oriented campaigns spanning twenty industry sectors from telecommunications to healthcare to retail. She began her career in Silicon Valley and has a special affinity for telling the stories of technology and its impact.
Heidi Capozzi is senior vice president of Human Resources for The Boeing Company. She is currently a member of Boeing’s Executive Council. Capozzi leads the company’s leadership development, training, workforce planning, employee relations, compensation, benefits and diversity initiatives. Most recently, Capozzi served as vice president of Talent & Leadership, the group responsible for identifying and developing emerging leadership talent as well as running the company's leadership center in St. Louis. Before joining Talent & Leadership, Capozzi served as director of Human Resources for the Airplane Programs division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), where she supported the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs. Before joining BCA, Capozzi was director of Human Resources for the Surveillance and Engagement (S&E) division of Boeing Military Aircraft. Capozzi joined Boeing in 2009 following the acquisition of Insitu, a company in the design, development, production and operation of unmanned aircraft systems, where she served in multiple leadership roles including vice president of Internal Services and Quality and vice president of Human Resources. As a member of the Insitu executive team, she led multiple functional areas and guided the development of one of America’s fastest growing technology companies (Inc Magazine, 2006, 2007 and 2008). Capozzi has also served in leadership roles in human resources, compensation and communications at both Northrop Grumman and TRW’s automotive and defense business. She holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College in political science and Asian studies and earned a master's degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota.
Governor Hickenlooper and Skillful Launch Statewide Career Coaching Professional Development Program to Help Colorado Job Seekers Prepare for Digital Economy Governor’s Coaching Corps Brings Together Some Of The State’s Most Talented Career Coaches To Elevate Best Practices And New Tools That Will Help Coloradans Navigate Economy Dramatically Transformed By Technology Denver, CO — Gov. John Hickenlooper and Skillful announced today the launch of the Governor’s Coaching Corps, a program designed to bring together talented career coaching professionals. The Corps is an innovative investment in frontline career coaching professionals to develop new practices that will help Colorado job seekers navigate the challenges of a labor market being rapidly transformed by technology. “We’re proud of the fact that Colorado has the strongest economy in the country. Still, we have plenty of work to do and that starts with ensuring every Coloradan is prepared to succeed in the new jobs that will drive our future,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Skillful offers enormous promise when it comes to empowering job seekers, coaches, and employers alike. The Coaching Corps takes this work one step further, ensuring our workforce professionals have the resources and support necessary to support Colorado as a leader in the national digital economy.” The inaugural Coaching Corps brings together more than 25 of Colorado’s top career coaches from workforce centers, community colleges, high schools, and nonprofit organizations. Over the course of eight months, these coaches will build a supportive cohort through bimonthly retreats, hone their leadership skills, and develop new practices and tools to serve job seekers. Coaches will be trained to share their knowledge within their own organizations, and all program costs, including travel and lodging, are funded by Skillful, an initiative of the Markle Foundation that launched in Colorado in March 2016. The Coaching Corps represents the next phase of Skillful’s career coach development work within the labor market ecosystem. This is part of a broader effort to scale Skillful with a significant investment from Microsoft’s corporate giving arm Microsoft Philanthropies, which was announced earlier this year. “One of the most profound takeaways of Skillful’s work on the ground in Colorado during the past 18 months is that job seekers really want and need a human touchpoint for helping guide them through the dramatic changes happening in the labor market,” said Andi Rugg, Executive Director of Skillful. “The Governor’s Coaching Corps is a key element of Skillful. By investing in Colorado’s dedicated career coaches and working with employers to develop data on growth jobs, we can empower career coaches to better guide job seekers and help them find meaningful opportunities in the digital economy.” In addition to in-depth skills development, the Coaching Corps will provide one-on-one leadership coaching, access to a network of peers and industry leaders, and opportunities for coaches to contribute their skills and experience to solve some of the biggest challenges facing Colorado’s workforce. As part of the program, coaches will join one of five Action Teams devoted to three core themes: Developing 21st Century Coaching Tools: Coaches will explore digital solutions that address the growing need to serve job seekers remotely and at scale, while maintaining an all-important human connection. Identifying Jobseeker-Specific Tools & Approaches: Coaches will develop creative approaches to serve specific segments of the jobseeker population. Cultivating New Partnership Models: Coaches will pilot new partnership models across workforce segments to provide smoother pathways for job seekers. “We recognize that career coaches are on the front lines of helping prepare the state’s workforce for the digital economy, which is why we are focused on providing them the tools they need and deserve to do their jobs even more efficiently and effectively,” said Andi Rugg, executive director of Skillful Colorado. “What we’ve heard from coaches over the past year-and-a-half is that they want a platform for learning new skills and sharing the ideas and best practices they’ve cultivated through their own personal experiences. Our goal is to empower them with these opportunities so they can continue to make real differences in people’s lives.” Skillful is an initiative of the Markle Foundation, in partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, and many others, that brings together key players across the labor market, including employers, state and local government officials, educators and workforce centers, to help workers adapt to the changing workplace. Skillful provides data, tools, and resources that enable businesses to define the exact skills they seek, and turn those insights into a skills-based hiring process that allows workers to demonstrate and articulate the skills that they can bring to an organization. More information about Skillful can be found at www.skillful.com. Markle Media Contact: Leah Johnson 212-713-7632 or [email protected]
New York, NY – Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird today announced the appointment of Claudia Husemann as Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Engagement. Husemann will be responsible for Markle’s strategic communications and media relations initiatives and public engagement strategy. Markle is working to transform our labor market from one solely focused on traditional credentials, such as degrees and work history, to one rooted in the digital economy skills needed for jobs of the 21st century. It seeks to advance a modern labor market that aligns the skills of the workforce to the needs of employers, keeping American businesses competitive and giving American workers opportunities for quality jobs over the course of their lives. Husemann joins Markle from Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm, where she served as Executive Vice President with responsibility for one of Edelman’s largest global accounts. She led the Edelman team delivering communications in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia. Husemann previously was Group Head of the firm’s New York Corporate Communications practice. Before joining Edelman, Husemann led Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ New York Corporate Practice after successfully establishing its New York Technology Practice. A graduate of Stanford University with a B.A. in International Relations, Husemann began her career more than 20 years ago in Silicon Valley, where she learned to first immerse herself in her clients’ businesses in order to develop strategic communications campaigns to drive growth and strengthen their market positions. “Claudia brings great capacity to achieve our critical mission at Markle. With the recent launch of our Rework America Task Force, we’re aggressively pursuing opportunities for all Americans to thrive in the digital economy. We are pursuing a skills-based labor market that will unlock economic opportunity for job seekers, workers and businesses,” said Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird. “Claudia has worked with some of the world’s largest and most successful companies. She is smart, creative, and disciplined in her approach to communications. Her enthusiasm and expertise, particularly in using technology for communications, will help us achieve our mission of transforming the U.S. labor market for the 21st century digital economy. Claudia will also lead the communications efforts of Skillful both in Colorado and as we expand Skillful to engage with other states. I am delighted to welcome Claudia to the Markle Foundation and to our senior leadership team.” The Rework America Task Force, which brings together influential leaders from diverse backgrounds and experience, builds on the success of the Markle Foundation’s Skillful initiative, which launched in Colorado in 2016 and focuses on empowering the nearly seven out of ten Americans who don’t have a four-year college degree but have, or can learn, the in-demand skills needed in today’s job market. Skillful provides data, tools, and resources that enable businesses to define the exact skills they seek, and turn those insights into a skills-based hiring process that allows workers to demonstrate and articulate the skills they can bring to an organization. “The Markle Foundation, Skillful and the Rework America Task Force are addressing an issue critical to our nation’s economic health, social fabric, and to individuals’ well-being,” said Husemann. “Markle is an important voice in a timely national conversation that can inspire action to meet the needs of all Americans. I’m excited to be part of it.” About MarkleThe Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of information technology as a breakthrough tool to address some of the nation’s most challenging problems. Working as an operating foundation, Markle has participated in partnerships to build the systems that transform sectors, including creating the policy and technology architecture that has enabled improvements in healthcare, national security, and access to the Internet. Markle’s priority today is to provide Americans with access to good jobs and enable people to prepare for today’s rapidly changing digital economy, as articulated in its book America’s Moment. For more information, visit markle.org, and follow @MarkleFdn and @ReworkAmerica onTwitter. Markle Media Contact: Leah Johnson 212-713-7632 or [email protected]
Colorado has been a leading state in bringing its workforce into the digital age. The state’s leadership team, including the governor, has asked the Markle Foundation to discuss the importance of the initiatives they have undertaken. The Markle Foundation, through its Skillful initiative, has been working closely on these efforts with the governor, multiple state agencies and businesses, community organizations, and educators throughout Colorado. Through this first-hand experience, we have witnessed the commitment to, and impact of, these programs that are preparing the Colorado’s workforce for the rapidly changing economy. The leadership of Colorado understands that the forces of globalization and technology that are disrupting our labor market also can provide the tools and markets needed for system-wide change that benefits everyone. Achieving this is challenging and requires strategies that integrate into an effective network all sectors that make up the labor market so that employers can open up career opportunities for many more people, trainers can help provide the skills needed and job seekers can pursue productive paths. It is for this reason that the state has embraced Skillful and is leading innovations that can be replicated throughout the nation. Skillful, a Markle Foundation initiative, launched in in 2016 with Colorado’s leadership team as an integral participant in this overall effort. Working in Colorado’s unusually collaborative environment, Skillful’s integrated model brings together all stakeholders and leverages the technology and tools that are disrupting the economy to build a workforce ecosystem that works for all, especially for the middle skill jobs and job seekers that are vital to a growing economy. Skillful provides Colorado employers the templates, tools and resources to help transition their businesses to skills-based talent practices which emphasize workers’ skills, training and experience over traditional hiring filters such as college degrees or work history. Skillful supports job seekers by providing them with tools and information to help them explore career paths, find training, search for the right job and connect with employers and educators. Skillful also provides tools to support career coaches who are critical resources for individuals during their journey to better jobs. Another element of Colorado’s integrated, ambitious vision for developing the workforce of the future is CareerWise, the non-profit charged with building Colorado’s youth apprenticeship system by aligning business and education. An initiative of the state’s Business Experiential Learning (BEL) Commission, CareerWise starts in middle school by teaching students about career opportunities. By 11th grade students can participate in a paid apprenticeship with two days in the classroom and three days in a business or training center, linking classroom learning with hands-on experience. Each apprenticeship centers on a curriculum developed jointly by businesses, colleges and K-12 schools. Upon high school graduation, apprentices have the option of continuing on to a postsecondary degree or completing their apprenticeship and gaining access to a job in high-growth fields including information technology, financial services and advanced manufacturing. Skillful has worked with CareerWise from its planning stage in identifying the skills apprentices need to learn and helping employers apply these tools not just to their apprenticeship programs but across employees’ career pathways. In 10 years, Colorado has targeted a goal of more than 20,000 students in apprenticeships earning wages and college credit in fields such as software development, accounting and cybersecurity. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Employment and Training’s Work-Based Learning Unit partners with CareerWise, overseeing several work-based learning initiatives for youth and adults. An outstanding example of Colorado’s commitment to pairing workforce development with solid sector partnerships, the Innovative Industry Internship, another CDLE program, has partnered with 131 companies in eight growth industries, such as aerospace, advanced manufacturing and IT, placing 290 interns. Addressing the construction and energy labor shortage, the CDLE’s WORK Act trained 1,393 individuals through pre-employment boot camps and apprenticeships, with 939 work seekers obtaining jobs. The Colorado Workforce Development Center (CWDC), a business-led public-private board, is another in the state’s integrated set of programs to facilitate and sustain a talent development system. Working with Skillful and others, it brings together the work of education, training, economic and workforce development to anticipate, and then meet, the needs of businesses, workers, job seekers and students. To make the most of resources and to assure alignment of the state’s goal to build a skills-based labor market focused on hiring and training by skills, rather than traditional credentials such as degrees or work history, the CWDC, state agencies, CareerWise and Skillful are also collaborating on the following: Using real time labor market demand data to focus education and training on businesses’ needs. Fueling industry collaboration through CWDC’s sector partnerships. Businesses are expanding work-based learning opportunities with input from CareerWise and the Work-Based Learning Unit while Skillful is developing tools to assist businesses in hiring by competency rather than principally degrees or industry experience. Identifying critical occupations in key industries and the skills necessary to be successful in those occupations using labor market data. This criteria cascades into actions by job seekers, training guides for businesses and curricula for educators, as well as job descriptions and resume tools for the labor market. Governor’s Coaching Corps: This intensive leadership program – a partnership between Colorado and Skillful – is a highly innovative investment in frontline career coaching professionals. The Corps will be made up of 30 exceptional career coaches from public workforce centers, community colleges, and non-profit organizations who will work in teams to develop new practices and deploy new technology to improve career services by coaches throughout the state, while sharpening their own expertise in skills-based coaching for job seekers. Colorado is setting a high bar with innovative and aligned initiatives that are preparing its residents and businesses to thrive now and in the future. All Americans deserve to find a meaningful place in this new economy. We encourage Amazon to set the standard for the nation by emphasizing a state’s deep commitment to preparing its workforce for the jobs of the future. Zoë Baird CEO and President Markle Foundation
Rhode Island, though small, has been a leading state in bringing its workforce into the digital age. The state’s leadership team, including the governor, has asked the Markle Foundation to discuss the importance of the initiatives they have undertaken. The unrelenting digitization of our economy has propelled America into the greatest economic transition since the Industrial Revolution. Rhode Island has an innovative vision and proven commitment to workforce development – starting in kindergarten and going through college to lifelong learning – and is effectively bringing together the stakeholders in the labor market to enable businesses to get the workforce they need and workers real opportunity. Rhode Island and the Markle Foundation share a common goal of preparing students, workers and businesses for success in the digital economy, and, over the years, the state’s leadership team has been a valuable advisor in informing the Foundation’s strategy and actions. We have today an American paradox: Across the country, six-million-plus jobs are going unfilled often because employers can’t find skilled workers yet millions of Americans with in-demand skills, or job seekers who are capable of learning those skills, are unemployed or underemployed. Markle’s Skillful initiative, which launched in 2016 in Colorado, works with businesses, job seekers and workers, and educators to create a skills-based labor market that enables employers to find the talent they need, job seekers to see where the jobs are and find jobs uniquely suited to their skills, and educators to know what training is needed to create a skilled, nimble and entrepreneurial workforce. “Skillful in a Box” was created thanks to imaginative input from Rhode Island’s governor. It enables all states to benefit from Skillful, as it gives employers the templates, tools and access to training and resources to help transition their businesses to skills-based hiring. A Pew Research Center survey, conducted in association with Markle, found that eighty-seven percent of Americans believe that lifelong training is central to career success in the digital age. Rhode Island’s response to the demands of the new labor landscape has been to put in place initiatives that provide robust resources that link education, training and career development to support the work force of the 21st century. Real Jobs RI, for example, has helped boost the state’s jobs to the highest-ever – 499,200 – with a gain of 3,100 alone this past August. Real Jobs RI has brought together 300 firms in 17 industries to partner with 150 skills-training programs to provide skills education to current and potential employees while retaining and obtaining talent, allowing incumbent employees to improve their skills as their employers fill immediate openings with experienced workers. As of September 1, more than 900 new hires have been placed – including 400 job seekers in high-skill jobs building submarines at Electric Boat – and 500 incumbent workers trained for future advancement. Rhode Island students, through CS4RI (Computer Science for Rhode Island Initiative), are learning the skills and critical thinking needed to create, get and advance in good jobs in the 21st century. By this December, children in every school in the state will be taught computer skills starting in kindergarten and continuing with AP Computer Science courses in high school. The state’s focus on higher education and its crucial role in preparing residents for rewarding careers this year produced the Promise Scholarship which covers the cost of tuition and fees at the Community College of Rhode Island for all state residents who graduated high school the previous spring. Rhode Island’s innovative public and private sector partnerships, such as Real Jobs RI and CS4RI, are part of an effort to leverage existing resources more effectively and craft new tools and programs to equip Rhode Islanders, of all ages and backgrounds, to engage in lifelong learning that meets the needs of the new work world. All Americans deserve to find a meaningful place in the new economy. We encourage Amazon to set the standard for the nation by emphasizing a state’s deep commitment to preparing its workforce for the jobs of the future. Zoë Baird CEO and President Markle Foundation