WIP Art Bilger and Jane Oates

Navigating the changing job market: AI, upskilling, lifelong learning, purposeful work, and equitable access to workforce resources

A conversation with Art Bilger, founder & CEO of WorkingNation, and Jane Oates, president of WorkingNation

In this final episode of Work in Progress for 2023, I am joined by Art Bilger, founder and CEO of WorkingNation, and Jane Oates, president of WorkingNation, to discuss the challenges and opportunities the workforce face in the year ahead, part of our The Future of Work 2024 series.

As you can imagine, artificial intelligence and its implications on the way we do our jobs, and the skills we need to learn to be a part of the change, continue to be top of mind for many as we head into the new year.

“The good news is, I think within companies, government, and the not-for-profit world, people are really digging in to gain an understanding of where AI can take them,” says Art. He adds that he’s beginning to see these organizations “implementing strategies for training and skilling personnel, so that they can participate in this very significantly changing work environment.”

Jane argues that AI is already having an impact, but doesn’t think that society has moved forward quite that quickly. “All jobs are going to change and right now we have no idea how. We’re still in the dark ages with this. I am not as optimistic as Art is that everybody’s getting into it and training with it and using it. I think half the world is ready to figure out how to use it, and half the world is scared to death.”

Jane raises concerns about the potential exacerbation of existing inequalities and the need for educators to adapt to the changing landscape. “I think there are big issues we have to solve early in this. The big worry in my mind is will it exacerbate the divide that already exists between well-resourced schools, K12, and colleges and people with fewer resources and schools with fewer resources,” she says.

Art agrees with Jane on the last point. “We have very serious risks with regard to the expansion of that divide. We’ve got to figure it out – how to get educators educated with regard to AI and how they can utilize it in their efforts. I see (AI) as a long-term opportunity. I do think there is going to be very positive outcomes that flow out of it, but significant bumps along the way.”

“There are sectors where we’re going to see the benefit. We’re already seeing the benefit in health care; I think this is going to make personalized healthcare a reality,” Jane says. She continues, “There’s a real opportunity to do individualized education for the first time ever in a time effective way if, as Art sys, we get teachers the training they need.”

Reflections from the WorkingNation Advisory Board

The growth and use of AI is just one of the many workforce issues – and potential solutions – discussed in depth by members of our WorkingNation Advisory Board in our annual year-end series The Future of Work.

Art, Jane, and I also talk about some of those ideas, including the importance of lifelong learning, reskilling older workers, purposeful work, and equitable access to resources and support for workers in navigating the changing job market.

Listen to the full Work in Progress episode on this page, or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

And you can read and listen to what our distinguished WorkingNation Advisory Board had to share with us here: The Future of Work 2024.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year!

Episode 299: Art Bilger, Founder & CEO, WorkingNation, and Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Theme Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4
Download the transcript for this podcast here
You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts