WorkingNation is drawing closer to our Town Hall on “Re-skilling the Mid-Career Workforce” August 8 at the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater in New Brunswick, N.J. and we want you to jump into the discussion.

Our town hall, co-hosted by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, will feature a question-and-answer session moderated by PBS NewsHour anchor Hari Sreenivasan and will touch on topics ranging from how to train mid-career workers to adapt to automation to the future of work itself.

Many workers in America will be confronted by a reality where their skills are no longer in demand and WorkingNation is committed to continuing a dialogue about solutions for this oncoming employment dilemma at this and future town hall events.

We would love to have you at our free event (RSVP here), but if you cannot make it, you can make your voice heard.

We want you to consider the following questions below. While many will be brought up during our 90-minute event, it is not complete without our WorkingNation audience input. Head to our Facebook page and tell us about other issues our panelists should also address.

  • How do we help educate and train the worker who finds himself or herself with outdated skills in a sector that is shrinking?
  • What is the responsibility of workers, businesses, and the public sector moving forward?
  • How can businesses, educators, local officials and organizations all work together to train and hire workers, with the expressed purpose of building communities?
  • What occupations and careers will drive the new middle class?
  • What are the education, training, and credentialing pathways to these new jobs?
  • What can older, mid-career job seekers, many of whom are long-term unemployed workers do to lessen the potential stigmas they face, and what can be done to make them more attractive to employers?
  • Many mid-career job seekers cannot afford to undertake lengthy retraining programs. What makes sense for a 25 or 30 year old dislocated worker may or may not make sense for a 45 or 50 year old. What do we know about the return on investment for education and training for older, mid-career workers?
  • How can we provide more career coaching to mid-career workers in need of new skills?
  • We’ve seen many examples where older job seekers do get training – acquiring a credential such as a project management certificate or a mini-MBA, a new IT credential, a GIS certificate – and then still struggle in the job search process. In many cases, employers say they want to see work experience using the new skills. How can we promote more opportunities for newly trained mid-career job seekers to get the kind of work experience they need for employers to hire them?
  • How does the rise in contract, temporary, project- or gig-based work play into all of this?


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