Employment Policy Conversation Starter: Facebook Co-Founder’s Concern About “Winner-Take-All Economy” and Role of Government in Correcting

Even during this current period of low unemployment and decent economic growth, a huge portion of the population is being left behind. Nearly half of all wage earners today bring in less than $30,000 a year. Last week, the Federal Reserve reported that four in ten Americans don’t have $400 to handle an emergency expense, and 25% of non-retired adults have absolutely no savings or pension to lean on once they stop working. Paying for just the basics, such as rent and medical care, is enormously stressful for many millions—even if they’re employed.

Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes has a $2.5 trillion plan to lift up the working class. Hughes, who made waves with his call to break up Facebook, helps lead the Economic Security Project, which is building support for boosting tax credits for working people.

Link to article

A Post-Product World

In a post-product world, the digital twin becomes the instance of truth, not the physical product itself. (Source: Solidworks) - image

The manufacturing plant of the future will produce not products but experience. If you take the new the robots for mobility – self-driving cars – they’re connected machines. Where does the value come from – the chassis and four wheels – or does it come from the connected services? Those connected services are what we call the experience.

The customer seeks the service, not the product. The value to the customer is coming from the experience of using the car, not from the car itself. Those who succeed in the 21st Century will be those who provide change by offering a new type of experience. This is what makes the 21st Century different from the 20th Century. Millennials Are Ready for a Post-Product World.To some extent, the post-product world is a generational issue. Millennials get the notion that products are essentially experience. For Gen Xers and Boomers, the concept takes some getting used to. Many Millennials used shared rides during their college years. They understand the positive economics of not owning a car.The diminishing sales of CDs is another example of experience over products. My Millennial kids are perfectly content not owning any of the music they listen to, and they’ve taught their Boomer old man that CDs are a clunky way to consume music. I now have countless albums in my Amazon Prime collection. I pay a monthly fee for access, it’s far less than I used spend buying CDs. full article 


AI (Artificial Intelligence) as Job Helper Rather Than Job Usurper

There’s a fear that AI is going to take over our jobs – and with the advent of everything from self-driving cars to artificial customer service agents, it’s a valid concern. It’s especially fair when McKinsey, one of the most trusted global management consulting firms, predicts that as many as 800 million full-time employees could have their work displaced by 2030 due to automation

Yet, that data point alone is not reality. In fact, with the following statistics next to it, we can paint a much better picture for the future of work. According to the same McKinsey report: 

  • Less than 5 percent of occupations consist of activities that can be fully automated
  • In about 60 percent of occupations, only one-third of tasks could be automated 

IT professionals are certainly up for it. Because while their jobs are becoming more complex and time consuming, their numbers in business are not increasing to balance this growth. The principal value of AI in IT is that it can help predict problems rather than just react to them – i.e. prevent problems rather than just attempt to mitigate them. more at Forbes

Prepping the Workforce for Smart Automation

Companies can ensure successful deployment of automation by getting buy-in from the workforce and offering retraining. Without the buy-in, workers won’t use the technology.

Companies can reduce the friction of new technology deployment by using collaborative approaches that can produce an abundance of opportunities for the existing workforce. The solution involves a number of strategies, including, gaining buy-in from the company’s workforce, making the new technology familiar, repositioning the workforce infrastructure, and creating retraining programs.

Craig Salvalaggio, VP of Applied Manufacturing Technologies will discuss these strategies in the session, Leading the Change: Digital Transformation & the Workforce of the Future, at the Pacific Design and Manufacturing show in Anaheim on Feb. 5, 2019.

Link to article at Design News:

VWDB Releases Four-Year Local Plan Modification for Public Review & Comment

GLENDALE, CA -The Verdugo Workforce Development Board (VWDB) announced today that it released its draft Local Workforce Development Plan Modification 2019 document for public review and comment.

Background & Purpose

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (“WIOA”) mandates regional workforce planning as does the State of California. Each of the seven local Workforce Development Boards of the Los Angeles Basin has drafted a local plan for its specific workforce development activities. These local plans align with the regional plan and will be attached to the regional plan upon local WDB approvals. 

The Local Workforce Development Plan for the Verdugo Workforce Development Area describes how the workforce development system will be implemented in the Cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge. The Local Plan Modification will be implemented to assist the VWDB in meeting its vision of: “An economically vibrant, tri-city region with thriving businesses, youth and job-seekers on career paths that reflect their highest potential.”Funding for the workforce development system is primarily through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act administered by the United States Department of Labor.

The draft plan is be available here public review and comment: Click for Draft Plan in PDF format.

Hard copies will be available for review at the Verdugo Jobs Center located at: 1255 S. Central Avenue, Glendale, CA 91204; Hours 8am to 5pm, M-F; Free parking available.

Please email all comments for both draft plans to mprankeATglendaleca.gov 

Robots Will Take Jobs From Men, The Young and Minorities

warehouse robots image

THERE’S NO DOUBT technology is shaking up the American workplace. Amazon employs more than 100,000 robots in its US warehouses, alongside more than 125,000 human workers. Sears and Brookstone, icons of brick and mortar retailing, are both bankrupt. But as machines and software get ever smarter, how many more workers will they displace, and which ones?

Economists who study employment have pushed back against recent predictions by Silicon Valley soothsayers like Elon Musk of an imminent tidal wave of algorithmic unemployment. The evidence indicates US workers will instead be lapped by the gentler swells of a gradual revolution in which jobs are transformed piecemeal as machines grow more capable. Now a new study predicts that young, Hispanic, and black workers will be most affected by that creeping disruption. Men will suffer more changes to their work than women.

The analysis from the Brookings Institution suggests that just as the dividends of recent economic growth have been distributed unevenly, so too will the disruptive effects of automation. In both cases, nonwhite, less economically secure workers lose out. full article