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.
Over ten years ago, just a couple of months into starting my first job, I was asked by leadership to develop and deliver a presentation on artificial intelligence (AI). During that time, AI was pretty much unknown in our industry except among a few visionary leaders.
To close the opportunity divide, cities like Boston are looking to strategic partnerships between employers and workforce and talent development programs to connect underserved youth with the work-based learning experiences that exist in their own community and help equip them with the skills and real-world experience they need to succeed in them.