Beyond the Build

Leadership

Looking Forward in Workforce Development

I recently had the opportunity to listen to Raphael Bostic of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta speak at the Civil Rights Institute. My takeaways from that afternoon were primarily focused on workforce development in current times.

As a business community, there is a need to ensure students have an eye toward the workplace, understanding which opportunities are likely to prevail. Communication with community colleges and technical schools is key, so that relevant skills are being taught, with an eye towards the future.

As local communities, we need to connect. This means economic linkages with things like transportation, but also as strong networks of people who are sharing opportunities and high-quality employment.

As participants in the financial community, we need to lean into our bankers. These professionals have local relationships that can be a real asset in funding individuals who have good ideas and want to spark economic activity and employment growth.

Overall, the key is to figure out what what kind of skills will be needed for the jobs of tomorrow, and set our sites there.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.