We believe our nation should have an approach to financing talent development that is fit for our time, not one built for a different economy and era. The need couldn’t be more urgent.
Each year, as the Chamber Foundation hosts the Talent Forward national workforce conference, we focus on talent—educating and training, talent tech and data, recruiting, hiring, and upskilling. With no shortage of talent challenges, the opportunities for informative discussion are endless. While a day devoted to dissecting talent-related topics could focus solely on the problems, Talent Forward is all about the solutions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 8.6 million STEM jobs in May 2015, with the highest jobs in software development, user support, and systems analysts. Despite the high number of jobs, the lack of skilled workers in the labor force allow these positions to go unfilled. To make matters worse, the existing STEM workforce lacks diversity among women and minorities, not representing the emerging workforce of women and underrepresented groups.
Our meeting on March 7, the first in a series led as a joint effort between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Lumina Foundation, kicked off an eight month sprint of work to improve the talent marketplace. All of the organizations involved are experts on today’s emerging technologies, such as semantic web standards (e.g., linked data), distributed ledger technologies (e.g., blockchain), artificial intelligence, and machine learning. We know that these technologies have the power, if leveraged properly, to transform the talent marketplace and drive future innovation.
Technology has transformed a lot of the things we do at work, but learning and development (L&D) has mostly stuck with the status quo. To attract and retain necessary talent, employers would be wise to nurture a learning culture and revisit their L&D strategy to make learning a strategic asset.