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You and I may not be ready, but by the year 2021, it's predicted we will be sharing the roads with a variety of driverless vehicles.
Soon, drones will deliver packages to our doorsteps. These and other innovations, including artificial intelligence and robotics, will continue to have a profound and positive impact on Ohio. They also are affecting our current and future workforce, jobs, and the skills needed for those jobs.
And for this turn of events, we and the state of Ohio must be ready.
To keep up with the speed of business and innovation, today's workforce environment demands a culture of "continuous learning," a fundamental understanding of creative and innovative ways of thinking, combined with the desire to learn new skills. To create this culture, we must closely connect those who teach the skills with those who hire for them. This is why Gov. Kasich's proposed budget focuses heavily not only on innovation, but on uniting businesses and educators in the shared goal of preparing Ohioans.
Many of us grew up in an age where the norm was to go to school for a defined period of time, work for a number of years, and retire. Those days are gone. Individuals are now undergoing multiple career changes throughout the course of their working lives, and often between industries or areas of expertise.
It has been estimated that 65 percent of grade school students will work in jobs that do not yet exist and for those in the workforce, traditional manufacturing jobs are continuing to be phased out due to technological advances.
Sixty years ago, the average tenure of a company on the S&P 500 was 61 years. Today, the average is 15 years. At this rate, by 2027, 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced. Tesla, a company created only a few years ago, recently exceeded the market value of 115-year-old Ford Motor Company. This velocity of change will only quicken.
Shifting Ohio's education and workforce training systems to a culture of "continuous learning" will not happen overnight, but we must take strides in the right direction to keep up with the needs of business.
That's why Governor Kasich challenged his executive workforce board, a group of leaders from across the state representing business, education, non-profit, and labor, as well as members of the Ohio legislature, to identify ways to better prepare and retrain Ohioans of all ages.
Last fall, the board members reached into their local communities to determine Ohio's most urgent workforce challenges. Through the feedback they received, board members saw a clear gap between employer expectations and worker capabilities and identified steps to address this disconnect. The board presented the governor with a number of recommendations, which ultimately became the foundation for his proposals.
Key initiatives include enhancing Ohio's efforts to give high school and college credit to students who engage in work-related experiences, offering more opportunities to access job-training and education resources, delivering short-term training solutions, and working to align education with in-demand skills and jobs.
Expanding access to opportunities which provide real world, hands-on experience, such as apprenticeship programs and internships, combined with mentorship opportunities such as Community Connectors, will better equip Ohio's job seekers.
There is no better time to focus our efforts on transforming Ohio's workforce. Uniting businesses and educators to prepare all Ohioans for the workforce is the key to our state's prosperity.
When our focus is on giving Ohioans of all ages opportunities for success, Ohio's employers, diverse local economies, and communities all benefit.
Ryan D. Burgess is director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation