Wayne Gretzky, famed hockey player, is known for his saying “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” Recently, the State of Oregon hosted the Joint Workforce Symposium in Portland, Oregon and the theme of the meeting was “Finding Pathways to Economic Vitality Through a Dynamic Future.” Maher & Maher was in the middle of the action by sponsoring one of the events for state workforce boards and liaisons that explored the implication of artificial intelligence and drones on our sector and job development work with businesses and individual customers. This interactive session not only fostered stimulating conversation about how to position the system to remain relevant in this technologically evolving work environment, it also provided participants with a hands-on experience with drones.
During the session leading up to our event, Vivek Wadhwa (Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering, and Contributing Writer, Washington Post) spoke to the group about how technology is changing our future and how our choices about technology advances will dictate the future. He suggested that we face either a “Mad Max” future or a “Star Trek” future based on how we embrace technological advances. He thinks the three key questions which should be considered if we want a “Star Trek” future are:
1. Does it benefit everyone?
2. Does technology promote dependence or autonomy?
3. What are the risks vs. rewards?
He believes that the majority of today’s jobs are at risk and that these jobs cannot be saved. Wadhwa used medical doctors as an example of an occupation that is at risk due to innovation. This presents an exhilarating challenge for the workforce system as we focus on the future workforce and the changing education and training environment. It led to some engaging discussions among workforce leaders at the symposium, Carrie Yeats (Director, State & Regional Workforce Solutions) and myself.
If you want to join the conversation, “skate to where the puck is going” around advances in technology and position your state or local workforce system for the changing nature of work and jobs, Maher is here to help! For more information about our services, visit our website or call us at 1-888-90-Maher.
Maher & Maher is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The firm is U.S. Department of Labor’s national technical assistance provider supporting the Employment and Training Administration’s implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and a number of other priority initiatives of the administration that advance and promote the public workforce system. Maher is also currently involved in a number of sector strategy, regional planning, organizational strategic planning and training initiatives in multiple state and regional areas.