Watch the recording of our webinar discussing this topic here.
How do we get out of this situation?
So what can be done? The answer is Workforce Development. The government, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and businesses must train workers to meet the new economy and help workers find a sense of purpose.
Specifically, we need to focus on “middle-skills” jobs. What are middle-skill jobs?
Middle skill jobs are:
Jobs that can’t be outsourced.
Jobs that provide opportunities for on-the-job training.
Middle skills pay the bills. They’re jobs that the move toward automation won’t quickly eliminate. They will provide the kind of income that working adults need to support themselves and their families.
An easy way to achieve this is using sector strategies. Know what the jobs are in your region, be aware of what industries are hurting, and utilize a four-step approach.
1) Engage - leverage technology like social media. Tweet, use TikTok, and ask, “Are you interested in a career in healthcare? Get paid to get trained!” it’s essential to leverage technology to measure participation levels and track how the community is responding. Go out into the community, talk to people on the street, or go to schools and engage with people.
2) Assess - evaluate people’s skills but don’t get granular. Find out what their skills are and where their interests lie. Are they good communicators or educators, or are they good with computers? What motivates them? Organizations like Dotin provide quick assessments online to evaluate skills and guide people towards a career they’ll be passionate about.
3) Train - get them in touch with services that offer training programs and on-the-job training. Training needs to be quick, such as 90 days, not 2-4 years. It can include apprenticeships, paid internships, organizations that provide on-the-job training or work experience. The point is to get people trained quickly in middle-skill jobs that will benefit them as well as helping the industries that are hurting.
4) Connect - help them get that work experience and connect with employers. We also need we need better supportive services. We need to make childcare accessible and affordable.
Using these tools and strategies, we can be well on our way to a modern, thriving, new economy.