ASU partners with LinkedIn, Markle Foundation to help future jobs market
There won’t be any taxi drivers in the future. Or limo drivers. Or truck drivers.
Thanks to technology – in this case driverless vehicles – employment in America is changing.
And transportation is not the only industry affected.
“One recent study said that as many as 40 percent of American jobs are subject to disruption of technology," said Zoe Baird, CEO and president of the New York-based Markle Foundation, which aims to help the spread of knowledge to all Americans. "So it’s really our responsibility, and the responsibility of those people who are community leaders, to help people get through this transition and get to the other side.”
Enter Rework America Connected, a joint initiative between Arizona State University, the City of Phoenix, Maricopa Community College System, edX, LinkedIn and Baird's Markle Foundation that is dedicated to improving how people – particularly “middle-skill” workers – can find jobs and learn new skills. It will also help employers find workers.
The project was announced June 24 by Baird, ASU President Michael M. Crow and city, state and corporate leaders at a press conference in downtown Phoenix.
“We’re here because we’re at that moment where the new economy is being born as we speak,” said Crow of the initiative.
Rework America Connected is launching in the Phoenix metropolitan area and the state of Colorado – two regions of the U.S. with a fine track record of employment innovation and trying to make the lives of their people better.
And while the partnership might sound like another website or app that promises to help people find work, members of the panel underscored that Rework America Connected is not looking to be just a technology solution.
“It’s a whole enterprise where technology can help interweave the pieces,” said Baird.
The fine details of Rework America Connected are still being developed. The players know they want to create a platform that can do everything from helping someone climb the employment ladder to providing better pathways to education to highlighting the future skills educators need to teach their students.
As LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue said, it’s about allowing people to change their own employment narratives.
Rework America Connected will rely on ASU and employers in the Phoenix metro area to share employment data and professional experiences that can help the program be more effective.
“We hope that from today we will begin to build a really strong collaboration that will both work for individuals to get them on strong career paths and work the businesses in this community in order to enable them to have the best work force in America,” Baird said.
In some ways, it’s already yielding results. Crow said that ASU’s program to help Starbucks employees earn degrees came out of early discussions about Rework America Connected.
“We believe that we can take the negative edge off this economic transition and create economic opportunities,” Crow said.