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Our Essential Service: Driving a National Digital Skills Agenda to Ensure Access & Equity in an A.D. Workforce

  • Type:Panel Discussion
  • Date:June 17, 2020
  • Venue:
    GSV Virtual Summit Series

Moderator:
Zoë Baird, CEO & President, Markle Foundation
Panelists:
Chike Aguh, DigitalUS Coalition & Senior Principal, Future of Work Lead at McChrystal Group
Brian Napack, President & CEO, Wiley
Angela Siefert, CEO of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance
Andy Trainor, VP of US Learning, Walmart

Our Essential Service: Driving a National Digital Skills Agenda to Ensure Access & Equity in an A.D. Workforce
As we enter a post-pandemic initial recovery, the national unemployment rate is over 14% and the return of stable jobs remains uncertain. Digital skills, already viewed as important to worker success in the age of automation prior to COVID, are now absolutely essential for all Americans, providing access, unlocking opportunity, and creating paths to career mobility. The digital fault lines existed prior to the pandemic, but widened this spring as work, schools, recreation, social and civil engagement all rapidly became available exclusively online. A diverse set of stakeholders including employers, large and small, national organizations, state and local governments have all recognized the gravity of the topic, and are investing in the infrastructure to support a learner and worker ecosystem where digital equity, access, and resilience for all Americans is the new standard, not the exception. Digital skills are fundamental in enabling workers and the economy to recover faster, better, stronger—and more equitably.

Digital US, a national coalition focused on equipping all U.S. workers with essential digital skills by 2030, released a report last week “Building a Digitally Resilient Workforce: Creating On-Ramps to Opportunity” that lays out key strategies to enable the digital fluency of individuals and companies at scale.