By Brian Gonzalez, Executive Director of Government Partnerships and Initiatives
The increasing power of artificial intelligence (AI) is raising scrutiny of skills and tasks that will reshape the future of work and U.S. jobs. Policy leaders must prepare for this urgent, yet promising, industry-defining change and collaborate with the private sector and academia to ensure the U.S. workforce is AI-ready. How policymakers prepare people, institutions, and ecosystems today will determine whether tomorrow’s workforce is equitably ready for AI transformation. As industries sprint toward AI and its transformative impact on our daily lives, Intel’s steadfast commitment is to ubiquitously integrate AI, pioneering the future of work and innovation.
Focusing on industry-specific training and upskilling strategies will help expand new pathways for workers and provide an in-depth focus on AI skills while also elevating uniquely human-centric skills. At Intel, we are contributing to the upskilling of the U.S. workforce through the Intel® Digital Readiness Programs, including the AI Global Impact Festival, which represents our deep commitment to bringing AI skills everywhere. These programs help make technology more inclusive, expand digital readiness, and create world-changing technology that improves the lives of every person on the planet. In fact, 88 community colleges in 39 states have joined our AI for Workforce program in the U.S., which has led to 27 colleges now offering a two-year associate degree or certificate in artificial intelligence.
To help leaders understand AI’s impact on jobs, Intel collaborated with Jobs for the Future's (JFF) new Center for Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work to understand artificial intelligence's impact on jobs, skills, and the future of work. The “AI Ready Workforce” report will help policymakers, employers, and education and workforce development leaders develop strategies across five key industries—business and sales, health care, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, and computer and information sciences. The report establishes an “AI-Ready Workforce Framework” to estimate how AI could operate differently within in-demand jobs and industries. Specifically, skills and tasks within jobs will be impacted by AI, either to elevate, augment, complement, displace, or replace.
An equitable future in AI will not be possible without the leadership of our policymakers. We encourage policymakers, employers, and education and workforce development leaders to act on the JFF report. The “AI-Ready Workforce Transformation Blueprint” includes key strategies and recommendations to prepare humans, institutions (including both employers and education and workforce development organizations), and ecosystems for the coming AI transformation. To support people in upskilling, reskilling, and acquiring new knowledge in AI will foster lifelong learning and a durable, resilient workforce to help advance American competitiveness across each industry.
The AI-Ready Workforce Transformation Blueprint
Graphic courtesy of Jobs for the Future
Policymakers should facilitate and incentivize cross-industry collaborations on AI workforce development. We must expand investments in equitable and accessible AI training to reimagine the way we work, so today’s students can keep up with tomorrow’s technology. There must be support for a stronger organizational culture, industry training, and a focus on upgrading technology infrastructure and prioritizing data and evaluation. Policymakers can prepare academic institutions and workforce centers by expanding opportunities to fund apprenticeship programs and industry-specific training in occupations most likely to be impacted by AI through CHIPS and Science Act provisions. Policymakers must also understand how access to computing power and other AI technology can create equitable economic advancement and invest in labor market data systems to enable near-real-time assessment of the changing demand for skills.
Employers also play a role in preparing an AI-ready workforce. The report recommends that employers should ensure foundational AI and digital literacy training and upskilling pathways are available to all employees and develop policies and regular audit practices ensuring transparency, accessibility, and equity. At Intel, we are ensuring workers are upskilled on AI tools and develop other AI skills through formal training and informal learning forums. We also expect interpersonal skills to be elevated in importance, especially in customer-facing or managerial roles. Nonetheless, these shifts in job design and responsibilities will not happen automatically, and they won’t happen overnight. That is why we must prepare now.
As jobs are reshaped by AI, there are critical steps that policymakers must take in partnership with the private sector and academia to ensure equity in the coming AI transformation. We are at a crucial moment that demands action for the U.S. to remain a global leader in technology. If policy leaders fail to lead in this transformation, AI poses a significant risk of exacerbating existing inequities, deepening digital divides, and degrading opportunities for workers and learners. We can get it right today, so let’s aim for a responsible future that accelerates equitable economic advancement and quality jobs. The time to act is now.
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