The New World of New Collar Jobs: Defining and Understanding a Changing Marketplace

A Deep Dive Into Data: Understanding the Skills Gap and Spreading Public Awareness

Friday, April 6, 2018  •  10:00 am11:00 am

With more than 6 million jobs open in the U.S., many companies are working hard to get to the bottom of the skills gap, clearly understand their internal needs, and more effectively communicate the jobs picture to educators, policymakers and the public. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Burning Glass Technologies, and other sources are helping many employers and analysts get a more comprehensive picture of the employment landscape. U.S. News & World Report, too, offers a suite of data-driven products designed to be useful for employers, educators, policymakers and job-seekers. This session will offer an in-depth look at several comprehensive data platforms and how they can reveal critical insights about education and workforce development.

Advanced Manufacturing: How Technology Is Changing the Game

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  3:00 pm4:00 pm

Manufacturing as we know it is changing – and fast. Driven by new technology and what some are calling a new Industrial Revolution, the field is being reshaped, and many companies are finding themselves at a crossroads. There is an urgent need to develop a workforce properly equipped to leverage these transformative technologies. The Manufacturing Institute forecasts that by 2025, U.S. companies will be facing 2 million job vacancies. To remain competitive, firms must evolve by retraining workers in new modes of manufacturing, making the right investments in new tech, and working with community colleges and other partners to build capacity. Listen and learn from several innovators in advanced manufacturing about what approaches are showing real promise and the significant challenges that remain.

Assessing the Impact of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence on the Jobs Outlook

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  4:30 pm5:30 pm

A 2017 McKinsey Global Institute report estimates that virtually every occupation will have some elements replaced by automation in coming years, though less than 5 percent of current jobs could be totally automated. Rather than producing major job losses, the expansion of robotics and artificial intelligence will lead to a job shift. There will be more need for people who can work along and in partnership with machines, providing the creativity, problem-solving and emotional intelligence that artificial intelligence can’t duplicate yet. While computers may increasingly take on basic coding tasks, say, there will be greater need for “systems” thinkers. Similarly, while AI programs might more speedily analyze imaging studies, radiologists won’t be replaced but rather freed to work more directly with patients. This session will look at the implications of robots and AI on workforce needs and how employers and educators can develop new models to train the next generation for work that may not even exist yet in the evolving skills-based economy.

How Companies Are Strategizing to Fill Their Future STEM Needs

Friday, April 6, 2018  •  8:45 am9:45 am

In the face of a persistent shortage of workers trained in much-needed STEM skills, many employers are taking a range of approaches to invest in STEM for both the short and the long term. Some successful approaches include providing scholarships and volunteers to serve in K-12 schools and afterschool programs, expanding internship and co-op offerings, funding skills training and professional development programs, and working with schools to design industry-aligned curricula in cutting-edge fields like cybersecurity and data science. Hear from several industry executives who have developed strong, STEM-savvy workforces about how they got there and what you can learn for your own organization.

Planning for the Workforce of Tomorrow: Where the Jobs Will Be

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  11:15 am12:15 pm

According to a recent survey of companies by the Business Roundtable, more than half of today’s open jobs do not require a college degree; but in the next decade, positions requiring bachelor’s and graduate-level degrees will increase significantly. The challenge is clear: How do employers fill their immediate job needs and also prepare for the decades to come? In the face of an aging population, new technology, the rise of automation, changing regulations, the explosion of the “gig economy” and other disruptive forces, success will require a complex approach of recruiting, training and retraining professionals for “new collar” jobs. Learn about how employers and educators are working together to understand the evolving career landscape and to train, hire and develop workers in in-demand fields.

Spotlight on Cybersecurity Jobs

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  11:15 am12:15 pm

As data breaches become more commonplace and costly, strengthening digital infrastructure is an increasingly important goal for many companies, government agencies and consumers. Cybersecurity jobs are already in high demand, and forecasts project a shortage of more than a million workers with the right skills for these jobs in the next several years. Educators and employers are working to meet the demand by developing up-to-date pathway programs, expanding credentials and nondegree options, and building out public-private partnerships to prime the pipeline. Hear from several experts on the front lines of the field about where cybersecurity is heading and how academia and industry can work together to fill these jobs.


Filling the New Collar Pipeline

Bringing More Women Into the Fold in STEM

Friday, April 6, 2018  •  8:45 am9:45 am

It’s no secret that women, especially women of color, remain drastically underrepresented in STEM, particularly at the executive level. Oft-cited statistics estimate that women comprise just 12 and 25 percent of the engineering and computing workforce, respectively. Many women who earn STEM degrees either never pursue or abandon careers in those fields at a higher rate than their male peers. Major efforts are underway to unearth cutting-edge solutions that both inspire women to enter and stick with STEM careers. These include a novel re-entry internship program from the Society of Women Engineers that is catapulting women who’ve taken significant career breaks back into workforce at high-profile STEM companies, as well as programs that help companies and schools target implicit bias programs in their ranks – a key reason that many women report leaving the field. Join us for an action-oriented discussion exploring the latest thinking on how to close the gender gap in key STEM professions.

Broadening Participation: Closing the Diversity Gap

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  11:15 am12:15 pm

Diversity is good for business, and building inclusivity has been shown to boost innovation and improve a company’s bottom line. Yet the overall representation of people of color and women in STEM jobs hasn’t budged substantially since 2001, according to a Change the Equation analysis. Employers of all stripes say that diversifying their ranks is a top priority, but the challenges are systemic and success requires a multifaceted approach, from collaborative efforts with K-12 schools, colleges and professional societies to revamped professional development programs and workplace cultures to expanded mentoring and recruitment efforts. Companies are also increasingly tapping military veterans, a diverse, rich and underrepresented talent pool whose members combine in-demand skills with on-the-job experience. This session will feature lessons from industry and education leaders who have found success in recruiting and retaining more women, people of color, and veterans in the workforce pipeline.

Earn and Learn: Moving Toward Lifelong Learning Through Apprenticeships and Upskilling

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  3:00 pm4:00 pm

As employers look for ways to address skills gaps in their ranks, apprenticeships and so-called upskilling programs are increasingly seen as critical mechanisms to prime the pipeline. Apprenticeship programs can enable firms to get a talent pool with on-the-job training in the skills they critically need, reducing productivity losses and overtime costs tied to unfilled positions. And analysts agree that the workers who will be best positioned for the future are those that can stay nimble and more frequently enhance their skills while working. In response, many companies are expanding their in-house training and retraining programs to better equip employees working with advanced technologies, for instance. Others have partnered with community colleges or nontraditional education providers to bolster upskilling efforts for workers of all ages and backgrounds. This session will provide insights into how to create effective workforce-based learning programs through apprenticeships and employee training efforts.

Show Me Your Skills: Expanding Competency-Based Education

Friday, April 6, 2018  •  10:00 am11:00 am

According to a 2016 Pew survey, nearly half of all employed adults reported getting extra training to enhance their skills within the last year. From computer analysts to auto mechanics, many workers in STEM fields are gaining new abilities and competencies through apprenticeships, online courses, coding bootcamps, and other nontraditional training methods. More and more employers look favorably upon credentials that demonstrate ultraspecific skills in engineering, computer science, and other such areas. Online badges and so-called microcredentials are gathering steam among companies and industry associations. And colleges and universities are expanding their offerings of online courses and competency-based education programs tied to workforce demands. This session will spotlight several promising credentialing efforts that are providing innovative pathways into STEM careers.


Education Innovation: How K–12 and College are Evolving to Meet the Challenge

Learning by Doing: Expanding Experiential Programs

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  4:30 pm5:30 pm

A win-win for educators and employers is the new emphasis on experiential learning programs, often developed in close coordination with industry through which young people can apply STEM principles learned in class to real-world environments. The rise of the early college model creates a school-to-industry pipeline enabling students to simultaneously earn their high school diplomas and associate degrees, gain tech experience, and get paid internships. Universities have also been creating robust experiential learning opportunities from co-ops for future engineers to undergraduate research for young scientists. Employers are increasingly getting on board as they realize they can get access to a better-trained talent pool and have an ongoing dialogue with educational partners on how to refine programs to ensure students’ career success. Hear from several practitioners of real-world, hands-on programs that are helping students get a taste of the workforce.

Pathway to Success: Helping K-12 Students Get College and Career Ready

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  3:00 pm4:00 pm

While U.S. students are graduating high school at the highest rate ever, questions remain about how well-prepared new diploma-holders are for what comes next. For instance, researchers estimate that roughly half of first-year college students must take remedial courses in key subjects like math and English. And nearly 6.2 million jobs remain unfilled, many of which require individuals with STEM skills that employers say they just can’t find enough of in the talent pool. In response, K-12 administrators, advocates, and policymakers are working to shore up education programs before grade 12 to give students the skills they need to compete in the workforce or the college classroom. The change is happening by improving teacher training, revamping standards and graduation requirements, integrating more experiential and hands-on learning, and K-12 schools teaming up with corporate and higher education partners on dual enrollment schools and other programs. Hear from several education leaders who have found success in equipping future graduates with the skills they need to compete.

Priming the Pipeline: Strengthening Career and Technical Education

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  11:15 am12:15 pm

Career and technical education is an important, expanding, and sometimes underrated engine for workforce development and closing the STEM skills gap. CTE programs can have a real impact on a wide range of individuals, from high school students interested in computing positions to career machinists or manufacturing workers seeking to strengthen their abilities. Many postsecondary programs are building robust partnerships with industry, spurred by targeted local- and state-level investments and policies keyed to high-demand middle-skill jobs. This session will feature speakers from CTE programs that have seen results by partnering with companies to build strong pathways for students of all ages and backgrounds, as well as insights on what makes for effective CTE public policy.

Spurring Collaboration Between Industry and Higher Ed

Friday, April 6, 2018  •  10:00 am11:00 am

Employers are increasingly looking to build closer relationships with higher education partners to design innovative programs that impact not just their changing workforce needs but also the communities where they are based. How do such partnerships work, and what’s the roadmap for success? Efforts can take many forms, such as forging joint research initiatives, bringing industry ambassadors into the classroom, expanding internship and co-op programs to get students into the workplace, and focusing on access and equity to develop a more diverse talent pool. This panel will look into several effective models of collaboration and how they have evolved to help employers, educators and students alike.

The Vital Role of Community Colleges in Talent Development

Friday, April 6, 2018  •  8:45 am9:45 am

More than 12 million U.S. students are currently enrolled at community colleges, including many women, African-Americas, Hispanics and military veterans who are largely underrepresented in the STEM fields. In addition to boosting diversity, community colleges have become important drivers for young people eager to find a pathway into rewarding new careers, for instance, as well as a wide range of companies wanting to train and retrain their employees. Thanks to articulation agreements with high schools, four-year universities, and even some companies, many community colleges can offer an affordable credential or degree that is geared toward the workforce. In this session, hear from several community college leaders whose institutions have reached their potential as launching pads for tomorrow’s STEM workforce.


Partnerships and Policy: What's Working

An Update on the STEM Funders Network’s STEM Learning Ecosystem Initiative

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  3:00 pm4:00 pm

TBD

On the Front Lines: Workforce Development at the Community Level

Friday, April 6, 2018  •  10:00 am11:00 am

Rather than just rely on government funding, many employers and educators are forging public-private partnerships in their communities to tackle workforce development challenges and to address the skills gaps in their particular communities. By tailoring efforts to local and regional needs, workforce boards, economic development authorities, chambers of commerce, employers big and small, and others are pooling resources and linking up with school systems and universities to make a real impact at the grassroots level. Such partnerships are multifaceted and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but these collective efforts can help individual stakeholders break out of their silos, track and share critical data, and push for policy changes that will accelerate progress. Hear from several leaders across the country who have seen real results with workforce-focused public-private partnerships.

On the Policy Front: What’s Working at the State and Local Level

Friday, April 6, 2018  •  8:45 am9:45 am

In recent years, states and cities have become major drivers for improving education and workforce development. Thanks to robust local and regional STEM networks, engaged workforce and economic development organizations, and innovative public-private partnerships, strong STEM solutions are emerging across the country. On topics such as expanding apprenticeships, building college- and career-readiness, revitalizing career and technical education, improving public education and infrastructure, developing career pathway programs, and more, many states and localities have important results and lessons to share. Hear from several leaders from across the country about effective STEM policy approaches and what to expect at the federal level.

The Life-Changing Power of STEM: Tackling Engineering’s Grand Challenges

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  4:30 pm5:30 pm

For nearly a decade, the National Academy of Engineering has sought to rally support around the Grand Challenges for Engineering, a list of 14 major goals for improving life across the world in the 21st century. The list includes everything from providing access to clean water and making solar energy economical to improving health informatics and cybersecurity. More than 120 U.S. engineering schools have committed to educating the next generation of engineers with the tools they need to specifically tackle some of these pressing challenges. Many of the challenges are precisely aligned with industry efforts in sustainability, healthcare and other areas, so the opportunities for collaboration are abundant. Join several engineering deans and executives who have embraced the Grand Challenges as an opportunity to blend advanced technical training with purpose-driven learning to make a real-world impact.

The Power of Partnerships: An Inside Look at Communities That Are Making a Difference

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  3:00 pm4:00 pm

Solving the STEM skills gap is a national program with local and regional solutions. Many of the most effective partnerships begin as public-private collaborations in local communities, bridging the gap between employers, educators, policymakers, and other groups, such as workforce development boards or chambers of commerce. A 2016 National Academies report suggests that the blueprint for success comes through coordinating efforts, closely tracking and sharing data, embracing experiential learning, working with associations and industry consortia, and more. This session will feature representatives from local/regional STEM communities that have found success in building a strong foundation for the workforce of tomorrow.

The Power of Partnerships: An Inside Look at Communities That Are Making a Difference

Thursday, April 5, 2018  •  4:30 pm5:30 pm

Solving the STEM skills gap is a national program with local and regional solutions. Many of the most effective partnerships begin as public-private collaborations in local communities, bridging the gap between employers, educators, policymakers, and other groups, such as workforce development boards or chambers of commerce. A 2016 National Academies report suggests that the blueprint for success comes through coordinating efforts, closely tracking and sharing data, embracing experiential learning, working with associations and industry consortia, and more. This session will feature representatives from local/regional STEM communities that have found success in building a strong foundation for the workforce of tomorrow.