- Director, Belfer Center for Science
and International Affairs
Former Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense (2015-2017)
You are using an outdated browser. Some of the rich features of this site is not going to function on this browser. Consider updading your browser or using a newer browser.
The Rework America Task Force seeks to transform our labor market from one solely focused on traditional credentials like degrees and work history, to one rooted in the skills needed for the jobs of the 21st century. We will harness the same forces disrupting our economy, from Big Data to Artificial Intelligence, to connect all Americans - especially the almost seven in ten Americans without a college degree - to new opportunities and training for in-demand jobs. We will advance a modern labor market that aligns the skills of our workforce to the needs of our employers, keeping American businesses competitive and giving American workers clear pathways to quality jobs over the course of their lives.
RATF will establish clear paths to quality jobs and job security for all Americans, which will:
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leaders with diverse backgrounds and experience who have joined together in service of modernizing the nation’s outdated labor market and unlocking economic opportunity for American job seekers, workers, and businesses.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.