Have your friends signed up?
Okay, let's start with ...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
In several midsize cities across the U.S., unusual software teams are programming apps and websites. In past lives, these workers delivered pizzas and parcels, tended stores and taught in schools, or drove Ubers and forklifts.
Kaveh reports: They made the unlikely jump to tech by way of apprenticeships — free intensive training followed by jobs at the companies that taught them.
What's going on:
These companies are hunting for potential tech workers where most don't look: They advertise on Craigslist, on social media and in local workforce training centers, and they give the people they find aptitude tests.
Rather than programming know-how, they are screening for character.
The goal is to find "people who have largely been ignored, from pools that have largely been ignored by this digital economy," says Catalyte CEO Jacob Hsu.
Looking in uncommon places can be a shrewd move as companies struggle to find good hires from the usual sources, like universities.
But, but, but: One enormous obstacle stands in the way of people hoping to slide sideways — or uphill — into a technology career: For some, the training and apprenticeship programs can be a serious, if temporary, financial strain.
Photo illustration: Alicia Waide/Axios Visuals
Alicia Waide was two decades out of college when she started thinking about a tech job.
Kaveh writes: She'd worked at Procter & Gamble for three years, then as a biology teacher in Baltimore high schools for another 16.
Training was really hard. "It's unlike anything I'd ever done before," Waide tells Axios. She took an accelerated course: five days a week, seven hours a day, for 16 weeks.
Waide graduated last year and is now approaching the halfway mark of her two-year apprenticeship.
"I didn't think there was a clear pathway for someone like me who's a mid-career changer," Waide tells Axios.
Yesterday's bonus item "Small cities, big companies" misstated the terms of Facebook's tax incentive package with New Mexico. The state issued $30 billion of industrial revenue bonds on behalf of Facebook, which will result in property tax breaks over 30 years.
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty
China is beset by a trade war, pushback against its global infrastructure plans and allegations of industrial spying. Growth in factory production appears to be at its weakest in 24 years.
Parag Khanna, a Singapore-based global strategist, says that all of this may signal that, after years of forecasts of a Chinese juggernaut, we may have reached what he calls "peak China."
"China is experiencing in just three years of expansionism the kind of pushback it took 300 years to muster against some European empires," Khanna, author of "The Future is Asian," tells Axios.
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty
For the next eight weeks, some of the best-known minds in the study of the future of work will be appearing at MIT.
It's a free online course led by MIT's Thomas Kochan and Elisabeth Reynolds, and it will track technological history going back to the 19th century, income inequality, labor groups, automation, German manufacturing and more. In the final four weeks, students look at the social contract coming out of WWII and create a new one for the new age of automation, Kochan tells Axios.
The course starts next Tuesday. I myself am going to be taking it. Register here.
Tesla in space, 2018. Photo: SpaceX/Getty
Photo: Michel Renaudeau/Gamma-Rapho/Getty
Among some people, the talk is all robots, all the time. Not at Hilton Hotels. Matt Schuyler, Hilton's chief human resource officer, tells Axios that the chain is not contemplating robots to staff its front desks or to clean rooms — not now, and not in a decade either.
When it comes to cleaning, robots may get rooms somewhat scrubbed, "but I don't see in our lifetime robots cleaning rooms to the satisfaction of our guests," Schuyler says. It's a similar story with reception. "We want this to be a human experience."
Last month, Hilton came out on top of Fortune magazine's 100 best places to work list for 2019, a leap from last year, when it was ranked 33rd. Hilton has a global staff of more than 405,000, some 913,000 rooms in 5,600 hotels, and some 22,000 jobs openings.