We asked our WorkingNation Advisory Board to share their thoughts on the most important issues and challenges facing the workforce and the labor market in the coming year.
Michael H. Kelly is the executive director of the nonprofit Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, dedicated to ensuring a path for economic growth and the creation and retention of quality jobs in the greater Los Angeles region.
Here are some of his thoughts on The Future of Work 2023.
“Technological advancements will alter or automate entire occupational categories at a faster pace than seen historically, creating both opportunities and challenges for L.A. County, now and in the future.
The good news is that these breakthroughs may lead to the replacement of low-skill, low-paying jobs with higher-skill, higher-paying jobs that are more rewarding to individuals and beneficial to the regional economy.
Rapid change will also require many workers to reskill at least once in their careers, placing strain on both individuals and workforce development stakeholders. The public workforce development system and the institutions it collaborates with to deliver training are not designed or funded to effectively reskill an unprecedented level of displaced workers for new work.
The community college system is poised to play the most extensive role in reskilling workers given the characteristics of those likely to be displaced due to technological change and the types of occupations for which they will prepare. Nonprofits, industry trade associations, and union apprenticeship programs will continue to play an essential role in reskilling, but they lack the scale and organization of the community college system.
The community college system is best placed to mobilize employers in the development and tailoring of CTE programs that meet their needs. Employers vary dramatically in their talent ‘supply chain’ mindset in which they proactively reach out to academic institutions to build programs.
According to the Accenture middle-skills survey, close to half of U.S. companies do not collaborate with any community or technical colleges, and less than half partner with any community-based organizations. Therefore, community colleges need to be proactive in rounding up employers at various stages of talent development maturity to understand their training needs.”
You can read more of Kelly’s thoughts on how a community can – and must – work together to reskill workers here.