Updated Dec 23, 2020 - Axios Events

1. First things first: The importance of lifelong learning

Image of two women on a drawn laptop: founder and VP of Grow with Google Lisa Gevelber and Maria Flynn, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future

Lisa Gevelber, Founder and VP of Grow with Google, and the president and CEO of Jobs of the Future, Maria Flynn, at Google's virtual Powering Economic Opportunity: New Pathways to Job Recovery event.

Want a job in the future? If so, experts at Google’s recent Powering Economic Opportunity: New Pathways to Job Recovery event suggested that job seekers must do one thing: be a lifelong student.

Why it’s important: New technologies – and now the pandemic – are transforming the job market. Accessible job-training solutions are needed to help Americans get the jobs and digital skills that will be relevant in the post-pandemic economy.

  • And for many workers, going to a four-year college to reskill may not be an ideal option.
  • To keep up, according to several experts at the event, American workers need alternative pathways that can help them land a spot at one of these in-demand jobs.

What Rep. Morelle is saying:

“There are two conceptual frameworks we’ve used historically to think about work and training. The first is that there’s a certain type of person who is college-ready, and then people who are not. And the second framework is that when you’re done with college, you’re kind of done with learning. Both are faulty. We need everyone to think about lifelong learning.”

- Rep. Joe Morelle, NY-D, 25th district

What this means: We need to redefine higher ed.

Here’s how: Employ more digital tools, reskilling, and online certificates that could help Americans get the jobs they want while making continuous learning easier and more accessible.

One example: In 2017, a program called Grow with Google launched, offering job seekers an alternative way to reskill and find a new career. How it helps:

  • Online training that acclimates job seekers to the digitized workforce.
  • Low-cost career certificates in in-demand fields like IT Support and more.

What one expert said:

“One of our key recommendations is expanding access to high-quality, short-term credentials like the Google certificate. This helps meet the urgent need to rapidly re-skill workers as well as the longer-term needs for continuous lifelong learning.”

- Maria Flynn, President and CEO, Jobs for the Future (JFF)

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