The National Skills Coalition, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity, examined opportunities to close the digital skill divide as the impacts of this divide weigh disproportionately on workers of color and struggling small businesses. The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation that was well underway before the pandemic, the authors note, one in which nearly every worker must contend with new digital demands. The authors make the case that understanding and addressing these demands is essential for leaders seeking to drive a thriving and inclusive economy. In their February 2023 report, Closing the Digital Skill Divide, they summarize their findings as follows:
- There is overwhelming demand for digital skills in the labor market.
- Many workers have not had sufficient opportunity to build such skills.
- Public investments in workforce development and education are especially viable.
- Closing the digital skills divide has major payoffs for businesses.
- Public investments in closing the digital skill divide can generate economic benefits for individual workers and the broader economy.
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In the May 2023 report, Creating an Equitable, Resilient Workforce System, the National Skills Coalition makes the case for turning the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) from an underfunded system to one that is adequately resourced to deliver high-quality skills training that supports the assets and aspirations of working people, helps small businesses who hire locally and invest in their workers, and advances racial equity and pathways to quality jobs.
Say the authors: “As we emerge from the greatest economic crisis our nation has experienced in a century, the need to do things differently is clear. We need a national workforce system that supports an inclusive economy — one where workers and businesses who are most impacted by economic shifts,as well as workers who face structural barriers of discrimination or lack of opportunity, are empowered to equitably participate in — and benefit from — a growing economy.”
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ABOUT THE MAX RESOURCE LIBRARY
The MAX Resource Library is a central clearinghouse for reports, studies, data tools, websites, online portals, and other sources of information related to workforce development to keep workforce partners informed. From data on workforce trends and barriers to the latest on the skills gap and economic mobility, a wealth of information is at your fingertips through this clearinghouse. Resources can be added to the MAX Resource Library through the recommendation of MAX members. The MAX Data Council oversees and informs the ongoing development of the MAX Resource Library.