U.S. News STEM Solutions Presents: Workforce of Tomorrow will examine how executives, policymakers, consumers and others are working together to improve education and workforce development to meet the urgent and evolving labor needs of today’s – and tomorrow’s – employers. The event will bring together leaders from industry, education, government and other sectors to showcase promising practices and proven solutions that are making a difference in solving the nation’s skills gaps. Workforce of Tomorrow is the latest evolution of the U.S. News STEM Solutions conference. Since 2012, the annual event has focused on improving America’s science, technology, engineering and math skills. The conference program will be informed by a number of related U.S. News rankings and data projects, including Best Colleges, Best Jobs and Best States.

2019 Content Themes:

10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
More than 7 million jobs in the U.S. remain unfilled as employers struggle to find workers with the right mix of skills. This talent gap only promises to widen as the economy fully enters what experts are calling the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” a period of exponential change whose disruptions are predicted to dwarf those of previous disruptions. What must employers and workers do to prepare to tap into the opportunities (and dodge the dangers) brought about by globalism, increasing connectivity, and rapidly advancing technologies such as mobile supercomputing and autonomous artificial intelligence? This session will examine the current workforce landscape, including the so-called new-collar and gig economies; the unprecedented shifts coming in the years ahead; and emerging best practices in worker recruitment, employee development and the creation of a robust talent pipeline, particularly in the STEM fields.

Presentations and conversations include:

  • Understanding the Future of Work
  • Crowdsourcing Talent: A Roadmap for Employers and Educators
  • Rethinking Talent Development for the 21st Century


11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Women remain vastly underrepresented in corporate America, accounting for only about 1 in 5 senior leaders, with little progress to show in the last few years, according to a 2018 study by McKinsey and LeanIn.org. Black and Hispanic professionals continue to be similarly underrepresented, and they often face significant employment and wage gaps. Recruiting, retaining and advancing more women, people of color, veterans and other underrepresented populations is a key priority for many organizations, and research demonstrates that doing so can have a wide range of cultural, financial and other benefits. Success requires a multifaceted approach, including K-12 and college outreach programs, engaging with professional societies and affinity groups, and enhancing mentoring and professional development programs. This session will offer an in-depth look at some of the latest research on the diversity gap as well as solutions-oriented approaches to closing it in education and industry. Join the conversation to see what’s been successful and how inclusivity initiatives at your own institution can be improved.

Presentations and conversations include:

  • Tapping Untapped Talent: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Broadening Participation in the Workforce: A Chief Diversity Officer


1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (including luncheon)
Today’s educators have a responsibility to ensure that their students are prepared to meet the demands of tomorrow’s workforce. By many accounts, the current situation is mixed: The nation’s high school graduation rate hit a new high in 2017, but achievement and college-readiness scores on tests like the ACT, SAT and the National Assessment of Educational Progress have been generally flat in recent years. At the same time, employers are clamoring for students with a wider set of future-oriented skills – in computing and the STEM fields, as well as in critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork. To help fill the gaps, many K-12 schools, community colleges and four-year institutions are revamping their courses and curricula; partnering with companies on industry-aligned programs, apprenticeships, career pathways and reskilling efforts; and otherwise rethinking the ways that people teach and learn. Hear from voices from across the education spectrum as they share their thoughts on the best ways to align education with the demands of a changing jobs landscape.

Presentations and conversations include:

  • Assessing the State of K-12 Education in the U.S.
  • Working Toward the College of the Future
  • Getting a Global Perspective: Lessons from an International Leader


3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Many of the most promising solutions aimed at improving education and workforce training are happening at the local level in cities and states across the country. Public-private partnerships – between corporations, schools, government agencies, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and more – have formed the backbone of efforts to fill the talent pipeline. Many states and localities have important results and lessons to share. Hear from government leaders, employers and other thought leaders about best practices, policies and approaches for success. This session will also include insights from high-performers among the U.S. News Best States, an interactive rankings and news analysis platform designed to inform citizens, business leaders and policymakers about where states excel in education, economy, infrastructure and more.

Presentations and conversations include:

  • A U.S. News Best States Leadership Roundtable
  • The Power of Partnerships
  • Spotlighting Government Solutions


Subject to change. As of 1/15/19.