On January 16th, in San Diego, CMTA President Lance Hastings represented California's manufacturing industry at the fifth Future of Work Commission hearing.
“The pace of change is so fast that history will really never be able to truly capture how fast we are moving relative to the last 20 years, 50 years, 100 years," said Hastings.
With the commission report date rapidly approaching, discussions began to ramp up as the Commission focused on technological changes in the workplace, the shifting impacts of labor law and the roles of large employers. Dynamic panelists Ifeoma Ajunwa, Assistant Professor for the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and Mary Gray, Senior Principal Researcher for Microsoft Research, focused on data in the workplace and issues around the transparency of the use and collection of data.
The commission also discussed the challenges of having the future of work being centered largely around post-secondary education. Stressing the need of more emphasis on secondary education for the future of work, Dane Linn, Vice President of Workforce & Education at the Business Roundtable noted, “to have this conversation absent at least the secondary system, he high school system in this country, is problematic.”
Manufacturers needs and training operations were highlighted as talks split into small groups of the commissioners representing various industries. Commissioners brainstormed on incentives for high-road employers, or employers that invest holistically in their employees and their work environment as well as the need for apprenticeship expansion. President Hastings also noted the need for vast increasing of Employment Training Program (ETP) funding to strengthen and expand the skilled and well-trained workforce needed in manufacturing while lightening the administrative load on businesses.
The sixth convening for the Commission will take place on February 13th, 2020 in Stockton, California and the hearing will focus on social policy, work and economic security.