Updated Sep 13, 2023 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on the future of the workforce

On Wednesday, September 13, in Washington, D.C., Axios business reporter Nathan Bomey and Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo hosted conversations exploring how companies and policymakers can work together to respond to changing norms in today's dynamic workplace while preparing workers for the jobs of the future. Guests included Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas).

A View from the Top sponsored segment featured BRT Education and Workforce Committee chair and United Airlines chief executive officer Scott Kirby.

Rep. Bobby Scott explained how AI provides both opportunities and challenges for the future of the workforce.

  • On discriminatory algorithms using AI in hiring practices: "How do you enforce civil rights laws, particularly since a lot of them require intent to discriminate? And if there's no intent, you don't have a case, and so if you can rely on a black box that has a discriminatory algorithm, that's going to be challenging for civil rights laws."

Sen. John Hickenlooper discussed the importance of training kids today with the skills necessary to take on the jobs of the future.

  • On skills training for AI and digital-focused jobs: "This is either going to be one of the greatest opportunities in the history of the country, but at the same time, it has the potential to be one of the greatest challenges that we've ever faced because we are not training our kids in ways to be prepared, not to create code, but to be the people that are the interface between this new generation of workforce that has different demands."

Rep. Beth Van Duyne highlighted how local initiatives like job fairs allow people to be better exposed to the opportunities that are available to them in the workforce.

  • On what she's hearing from business owners and potential employees: "You've got people who are looking for jobs, whether or not they want more flexibility, more benefits, or more pay. They just don't know how to go out and get them. They're not sure of the next step."

In the View from the Top segment, Scott Kirby emphasized the importance of focusing on fostering growth opportunities and positive culture for employees as a company leader or CEO.

  • "If you asked I think almost any CEO at Business Roundtable or anywhere else, what's their most valuable asset, most important asset? They almost always say people. And the world is getting more complex, more requirements, and so having a workforce that can come in and make a difference from day one and really get behind the company and the culture it really is mission number one. If you don't do that, nothing else really matters."

Thank you to the Business Roundtable for sponsoring this event.

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