On April 5, 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held an open meeting on the State of the Workforce and the Future of Work. Panelists at EEOC’s meeting represented public policy research, workforce development, unions, and employers. These experts weighed in on the state of the current U.S. workforce and how best to create employment opportunities for all. Concerns were not around the lack of jobs, but the gap between the skills needed for job vacancies and the skills of the job seekers.
Focusing in on the skills gap for vocational and trades jobs, one expert, a beneficiary of an apprenticeship program, emphasized the role these programs can play to help workers gain knowledge while on the job. It was also noted that “institutional barriers to economic opportunity and upward mobility persist” and can be countered by creating partnerships in local communities between employers, educational institutions, and state agencies.
Panelists agreed that policymakers should do more to provide education and training programs. These programs could potentially provide workers with the necessary skills to meet current and future employment needs; while reducing barriers to advancing in employment for various workforce populations including Individuals with Disabilities, and women and minorities.
EEOC invites members of the public to submit written comments on issues related to the creation of employment opportunities and upgrading workers’ skills.
Comments may be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to: