Ginni Rometty: How businesses can help fix America's talent problem

This week, IBM participates in CES, the annual technology exhibition where we interact with the latest innov...

Posted: Jan 8, 2019 2:08 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 2:08 PM

This week, IBM participates in CES, the annual technology exhibition where we interact with the latest innovations and ask, "What's next?"

Yet this question extends well beyond the technologies at CES each year. It's even more important to understand what's next for society. That includes building a workforce that is 'tomorrow ready.'

Apprenticeships and internships

Business figures

Business, economy and trade

Companies

Company activities and management

IBM

Labor and employment

Product development

Product innovation

Product management

Technology

Virginia Rometty

Workers and professionals

I believe that 100% of jobs will change in the era of AI and that productivity gains resulting from these technologies will ultimately create more jobs than they replace. The priority right now is to help people around the world prepare for these jobs and benefit more from the prosperity that new technology creates.

After all, the benefits of a booming US economy and low unemployment rate have not reached all Americans, and we face a skills gap that threatens long-term growth. At last report, released Tuesday, there were 6.9 million open jobs in the United States, yet over 6 million Americans are unemployed. If we don't do more now to equip workers with skills to fill more of those jobs, one study estimates that the United States could miss out on $162 billion in annual revenues from the tech sector alone.

Many of today's most in-demand jobs require the right skills but not always a traditional bachelor's degree. We call these new-collar jobs, and they're well-paying careers in fast-growing fields. Apprenticeships are one proven way for both students and working professionals to build new-collar skills — not just in technology, but across industries. And with data showing that 91% of apprentices find work after completing their programs, it's a model that should be scaled up much faster than is happening today.

IBM's apprenticeship program, launched in 2017, has grown nearly twice as fast as expected. Our apprentices have diverse backgrounds, from former teachers to firefighters. They're people like Tony Byrd, whose first job after high school was in the coffee shop at IBM's site in Raleigh, North Carolina. Seven years spent getting to know IBMers sparked his interest in tech. After teaching himself to code and taking community college courses, Tony was accepted into our software engineering apprenticeship.

They're also people just starting their career journey. People like Suriana Rodriguez, who graduated two years ahead of schedule from the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a grade 9-14 education program pioneered by IBM. P-TECH combines high-school, community college and work-based learning to better prepare students for career success. After graduation, Suri, a DACA recipient, was unsure of her options. Her IBM mentor pointed out a new Electronic Lab Tech apprenticeship in Poughkeepsie, New York, which gave Suri a chance to continue learning on the job while earning a paycheck.

Yet no one company can launch enough apprenticeships to solve America's skills challenge. Businesses' shared goal should be to create a national corps of skilled workers to fill millions of open new-collar jobs, accelerate American innovation and expand economic prosperity — especially in communities that feel tech has left them behind.

At CES this week, a group of 17 leading businesses is stepping forward to do just that. The newly launched CTA Apprenticeship Coalition brings together CTA member companies, including IBM, Ford, Bosch, Walmart and others to create thousands of apprenticeships across 20 states and the District of Columbia. Together, we will help close our nation's skills gap, build a pipeline of talented workers to thrive in technology's fastest-growing fields and restore trust in tech as a force for good.

Those of us advancing new technologies need to share an obligation to ensure technology's benefits are felt broadly across society. I encourage my fellow business leaders to join this coalition's effort and, more broadly, do their part to equip workers asking "what's next" with the skills they need to be successful in our exciting new era of innovation.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 53°
Columbus
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Oxford
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 55°
Starkville
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 46°
High pressure brings sunny skies and dry conditions for Sunday with highs in the mid 70s. Rain chances build in during the week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather