i3 | April 06, 2020

The Future of Work Hits a High Note at CES 2020

Jennifer Taylor
Every January, CES welcomes the world to Las Vegas to celebrate innovation. No other event offers as complete a picture of where the technology sector is and where it’s going — and where other business sectors will undoubtedly follow. 

Artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing and 5G are critical areas of CES and are creating a new era of technology — one that will increase demand for tech-related goods and services and unleash new economic opportunities for Americans. But the speed at which these technologies are advancing is changing both the workplace and the workforce, and we must address what “The Future of Work” will look like for our nation.

The technology industry now supports over 18 million American jobs. And every job created in the U.S. consumer tech sector supports almost three non-tech jobs in the American economy according to CTA’s 2019 report, U.S. Economic Contribution of the Consumer Technology Sector. And just on the horizon, the tech sector will create over eight million new jobs by 2023. But the future of work is critical for companies in all industries, not only driving innovation but providing opportunities for millions of Americans to find work. As the tech industry expands into a larger percentage of the U.S. GDP, the future of work grows with it.

CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro speaks with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump
CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro speaks with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump about the future of work at CES 2020

CES 2020

From keynote addresses to the dedicated Future of Work conference track, CES 2020 also included discussions with government leaders about technology’s impact on the workforce.

During his State of the Industry keynote, CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro noted the future of work must be a priority for the tech sector. “As we enter into a new era of innovation the only certainty is disruption. It can lead to anxiety and unease about the jobs of the future for many working people,” said Shapiro. “It is our industry responsibility to prepare workers for this disruption.” He urged tech employers to invest in educating future workers and upskilling current workers, “not only because it is the right thing to do for workers, but also because the industry needs skilled workers to innovate and grow.” 

In 2019, CTA signed the White House Pledge to America’s Workers promising to expand programs that educate, train and reskill American workers from high-school to near-retirement age. More than 60 CTA member companies have pledged a total of 2.5 million training and education opportunities — almost 20% of all pledges made to date.

One powerful example of the new training opportunities CTA member companies are making — at CES 2020, Bosch announced a commitment to train 20,000 associates to be “AI-savvy,” or well-versed in AI. The company plans to train 16,000 executives on the business aspects of AI and nearly 500 engineers in AI development methodology. 

“Rapid advancements in areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to create 60 million new jobs by 2022, but those jobs will go unfilled unless business leaders help shoulder the responsibility of educating and upskilling our existing workforce,” said Mike Mansuetti, president, Bosch North America. “These types of training programs, complemented by apprenticeships, STEM education in K-12 and more, are critical for the industry and future of America’s economic success.”

CES 2020 also celebrated the progress of the CTA Apprenticeship Coalition, which IBM President and CEO Ginny Rometty and Shapiro announced on the keynote stage one year earlier. Since the original announcement, over 40 CTA member companies have committed to learn how to create and scale apprenticeships for careers in fast-growing fields including software engineering, data analytics, project management and mechatronics. Members of CTA’s Apprenticeship Coalition now offer apprenticeships in 28 states, and four member companies have registered brand new tech-related apprenticeship programs.

The dedicated Future of Work conference track at CES 2020 offered expert perspectives and industry insights on how to develop new and innovative talent pipeline strategies. During the Growth of Apprenticeships for New Collar Jobs session, Jennifer Taylor, vice president, U.S. Jobs, CTA, said, “Tech companies are approaching the workforce talent shortage just as a startup would — by tapping America’s entrepreneurial spirit and finding innovative solutions. Apprenticeship is just one untapped solution that tech employers should leverage. Human capital will always be an employer’s greatest asset, so tech companies need to create new learning pathways for new hires.”

Left: Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, CTA. Right: Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President.

Industry Leaders at CES

Policy discussions are a critical part of CES — and some 200 policymakers from around the world attended CES 2020. CTA invites officials from the White House, both Republicans and Democrats, to participate in and speak at CES. In 2020, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump — who leads White House efforts on job creation and economic growth through workforce development, skills training and entrepreneurship — addressed the The Path to the Future of Work with Shapiro on the keynote stage.

Trump advocates for programs that help blue-collar workers keep pace with the rapidly evolving economy, strategies to reskill workers, apprenticeships and expanded K-12 education in science and technology. 

“It’s not only about training for the jobs of the future,” Trump said. “People need to be thinking about investing in their current workforce, so they can enable those people to do their same job using different equipment tomorrow.” “It is our responsibility, as we think about this country and the health of all Americans, to be anticipating where there will be disruption — whether it’s long-term or short-term — and coming up with a plan to help transition those people,” she said.

Trump also said we need to shift from hiring workers based on degrees and place greater emphasis on a person’s skills. She added the administration plans to launch an ad campaign in 2020 to highlight alternative pathways, such as apprenticeship, into the workforce other than a four-year college. CTA members took note.

“The keynote was an insightful fireside talk about the fantastic growth in employment in America right now. It is encouraging that companies are leading the effort to create programs and training that are effectively putting all Americans to work,” said Deena Ghazarian, managing partner, TargetPath. “A trained, eager workforce is the foundation for what accelerates not only America and American business, but also global business and technology advancement. It’s inspiring, and I hope that others will join us and sign the Pledge.”

People need to be thinking about investing in their current workforce, so they can enable those people to do their same job using different equipment tomorrow.
Ivanka Trump Advisor to the President, White House. 

Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross co-chair the National Council for the American Worker, which is responsible for leading a national strategy for training and retraining workers needed in high-demand industries.

During his remarks at the annual Board of Industry Leaders meeting, Sec. Ross discussed the state of our nation’s workforce and the importance of training workers who need new skills. “We need internships and apprenticeships, because there are talent shortages everywhere. We have six million unemployed people in the workforce, but we have seven-and-a-half million unfilled jobs that range from welding to truck driving to computer coding to everything in between. So, it’s a huge, huge issue.” 

For the U.S. to meet its targeted growth rate of 3%, he said the nation must increase the workforce participation rate — at 63.4% as of January 2020. Simply put, we need more Americans of all ages working.

Ross told industry leaders, “Because population growth is extremely small — it’s a fraction of a percent and productivity is about one percent — we need a one percent a year increase in workforce participation, in order to meet our economic targets, let alone to make more customers for your products.” 

Ross closed by thanking CTA for inviting him to CES and said, “I was extremely impressed by the exhibits that I’ve seen, and it makes me feel better about our country frankly.”

The importance of the Future of Work hit a high note at CES 2020 — inspiring the technology industry to invest in creating a skilled workforce and providing guidance on building the workers that we’ll need to continue to lead the world in innovation. 

CTA Gives Back to the Las Vegas Community

CTA has a long history of supporting programs in Las Vegas that benefit the local community and environment. Here are the donations CTA made to local groups at CES 2020.

Green Our Planet was awarded $19,000 to build 20 outdoor garden classrooms (OGCs) for Clark County which will impact 10,000 students and 300 teachers. These OGCs accommodate 35 students and are used to improve STEM education, nutrition and environmental education through outdoor learning. For the last five years, CTA has contributed $123,000 to help build 36 OGCs, impacting over 30,000 Clark County students. CTA is one of Green Our Planet’s largest donors.

Touro University Nevada was awarded $15,000 to install a solar-powered outdoor charging workstation that is open to students and staff seven days a week and is ADA compliant. Since CES 2015, CTA has granted Touro University a totalof $52,000 for campus upgrade projects.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation was awarded $20,000 to support UNLV’s Team Las Vegas participation in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2020 competition. The grant is to obtain smart and green home equipment, appliances and devices. The competition challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are energy efficient. UNLV is one of 11 universities worldwide chosen to compete in the 2020 event and will have its smart home, named Mojave Bloom, on display at the Solar Decathlon Community Exhibition in Las Vegas and at the 2020 Solar Decathlon event, held at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this summer.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)was awarded $25,000 to be directed to the LVCC Customer Safety department for emergency response training and equipment. CTA also made this donation at CES 2019.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation (LVMPDF) was awarded $150,000 for their Reality Based Training Center. CTA also contributed $50,000 to the LVMPDF at CES 2018 following the Las Vegas tragedy on October 1, 2017. CTA will have naming rights to one of the installations at the new center. 

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