Workforce Leadership Demands Lifelong Learning About Learning and Work

Feb 25, 2011


Are These People Working?

In short, yes. They are bloggers attending a professional conference. But increasing numbers of jobs can be done in this way – at a distance, absent an office, independent of colleagues or a water cooler. Is this the future of work for which workforce leaders should be preparing communities? 

Workforce leadership is increasingly about talent development at all levels, community wide. Workforce leaders are not only building pathways to help those without needed skills learn and advance, but also supporting the talent needs of unique or emerging industries that give their communities a competitive advantage. Many are looking for ways to promote self-employment and entrepreneurship. Workforce leaders actively monitor trends in an effort to ascertain their impact on learners, workers, the workplace, and their communities, and try to get ahead of them.



Is this School? Are "Users" Learners?

Welcome to Udemy, one of dozens of web-based peer-to-peer learning and knowledge-sharing platforms. You can learn knitting here, or take an MIT computer programming course. This sort of learning is not the kind typically supported by the public workforce system, but workforce leaders are asking themselves what such possiblities suggest about the future. What are the implications of web-based "schools" for learners not suited to traditional educational environments? How might a little community organizing extend the reach of learning opportunities into more communities and homes in a cost-effective way? The workforce system emphasizes insitution-based learning today, but tomorrow?


"We are trying to build an understanding of workforce and how systems work at all levels in our community, but we know that those systems themselves need to change." – Shari, VP Member Association