There is little disagreement that the rise of artificial intelligence and robotics will generate both unprecedented opportunities and challenges for the nation’s employers and employees. According experts, in fact, productivity will boom while tens of millions of American workers are displaced.
According to a new report, The Future Is Now: Workforce Opportunities And The Coming TIDE, from Littler Mendelson and Prime Policy Group on the impact of AI and automation on the American workforce, one key challenge will be whether displaced workers will have the skills to fill the new jobs created by the arrival of those innovative, transformative technologies.
Right now, according to Michael Lotito, co-chair of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute, the needed training and vocational education programs are far too few and do not properly leverage the educational potential of modern technology.
“Preparing today’s workforce with the knowledge and skills required to participate in the workplace of the future represents the greatest human talent challenge of the last one hundred years,” says Lotito. He explains the report addresses those issues and provides a practical roadmap on how employers, industries, communities, educators, and government can work together to prepare the workforce for the coming technology-induced shockwaves while taking full advantage of the opportunities that will be created.
“As the world’s largest labor and employment law firm, Littler has a front row seat to changes impacting the American workforce,” Lotito says. “Our report was designed to provide a practical roadmap for employers and policymakers to work together to prepare the workforce for the coming technology-induced displacement of employees [TIDE] and take advantage of the opportunities that will be created.”
Plus, as a follow-up to the report, the same two entities have launched The EMMA Coalition, a nonprofit entity whose goal is organizing a nationwide effort and partnership among American businesses and the organizations who represent them. The EMMA Coalition (named for Lotito’s seven-year-old granddaughter, and serves as a metaphor for why this project was created: to protect the futures of the next generation of workers) will provide ways to prepare the workforce for the inevitable employee displacement.
“The goal of the Emma Coalition is to help prepare the American labor market for changes brought about by TIDE,” Lotito says. “Currently, there is no employer-focused, non-partisan group dedicated to this issue, and the Emma Coalition seeks to fill that gap through education, training and engagement with policymakers.”