National Academies Discuss Workforce Development Challenges in Recent Webinar

Mar 8, 2021

by ASME.org

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics recently held a Government-University-Industry-Research Roundtable highlighting the findings and recommendations of the new book, Workforce Education: A New Roadmap, which addresses workforce development challenges.
 
The advent of the Coronavirus global pandemic negatively affected millions around the globe and starkly highlighted the challenges facing today’s workforce. As authors Sanjay Sarma and Bill Bonvillian explained, unemployment figures now rest around 10.1 million, the largest “labor non-participation” rate ever seen, with a vast chasm between upper and lower classes.
 
One of the causes of this workforce inequality is the upskilling of many sectors, with more and more jobs increasingly being awarded to those with more education. With the costs of education rising, this upskilling is putting those unable to afford higher education in a difficult position. However, Coronavirus has forced most education to be delivered online, allowing for a more widespread array of resources and opportunities.
 
Looking ahead, there is still much to be done to develop and provide comprehensive workforce education programs. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that those familiar with the online education format and massive open online courses, or “moocs” have seen great success. But our universities and community colleges persist as underutilized resources as they remain disconnected from workforce development needs. The online platform, in collaboration with colleges and universities, along with workforce-development-specific curricula from relevant agencies such as the Department of Labor are key to strengthening our workforce and providing it with the tools and resources it needs to succeed moving forward.
 
For further information on Workforce Education: A New Roadmap, click here: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/workforce-education.
 
 

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