Economies and technologies shift rapidly, which at times leaves workers behind with skills that are no longer as relevant as they used to be. Employers may also have difficulty finding employees who have the skills needed to take advantage of these new technologies. For example, the IDC estimates that the global shortage of web developers could rise from 1.4 million in 2021 to 4 million in 2025. My research asks the question: What works in reskilling? To answer this question, I review the academic literature and analysis from trade associations to examine best practices in reskilling workers for a changing job market. I look at ways that governments, companies, and educational institutions can help retrain displaced workers with the skills they need to stay competitive. Many large companies, such as Amazon, retrain their employees themselves to help them move into better jobs inside and outside of the company. Government programs also play a role in reskilling workers, and I examine what qualities make those programs more effective. Generalized "workforce development" programs that many states offer do not appear to be very successful at fulfilling either the needs of workers or the companies that would hire them. I compare examples of more generalized workforce programs like Utah, which has only a 36% placement rate, to more targeted programs in states like Maryland, which works directly with employers and has an 80% placement rate. As workers are equipped with specific, industry-relevant skills, they become more valuable in the job market and find fulfilling careers more easily. State and local governments should collaborate with local employers to identify the skills for which employers are most in need. According to those needs, funds could then be allocated towards putting workers through trade schools, coding boot camps, or apprenticeship programs, each of which has high placement rates into relatively high-paying jobs. This approach lifts workers into better careers and simultaneously fills the skills gap that employers are experiencing.
University / Institution: Utah State University
Format: In Person
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Business
Faculty Mentor: Megan Jenkins