Amid Crisis, Mayors Can Build a Workforce for the Second Machine Age

Commentary/Op-Ed - April 2020

Amid Crisis, Mayors Can Build a Workforce for the Second Machine Age

The economic fallout of Covid-19 combined with growing automation is poised to transform millions of jobs nationwide. Mayors should start developing plans to create a more adaptable workforce for a rapidly changing economy.

by Jonathan Bowles & Winston C. Fisher

Tags: workforce development middle class jobs project coronavirus

With the nation confronting the economic fallout of Covid-19 combined with a new wave of automation that will reshape millions of jobs, cities should double down on initiatives that align education and training with new economic realities—and start developing automation preparation plans. In this op-ed for Route Fifty, CUF Executive Director Jonathan Bowles and Winston C. Fisher, co-chair of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, call on mayors across the country to take the lead in preparing for the long-term challenges of a more automated economy in the coming years by investing in upskilling their workforces and lifelong learning initiatives, scaling up effective tech-training programs, and implementing mechanisms to help make continuous training more accessible.

You can read the op-ed here.

This op-ed is part of the Center for an Urban Future's Middle Class Jobs Project, and builds on the Center's extensive research on preparing for a more automated economy, including Work to Do: How Automation Will Transform Jobs in NYC and the op-ed "NYC, Get Ready for the Robots."