Our globalized economy has fundamentally transformed all aspects of our world --from how we shop to how we bank and entertain ourselves --it is now knocking loudly on education’s door and asking that it also be transformed or risk obsolescence. Our old idea of preparing grade by grade a student for a stable factory based economy where there was almost a guarantee of lifetime employment went out of the window sometime in the early naughts. We are now in a gig knowledge based economy where your ability to work is connected fundamentally to your ability to continuously learn and apply new knowledge.
Increasingly human resource professionals are applying supply chain theory to the growing misalignment of talent available to meet 21st century workforce needs. There are a number of drivers at the root cause of this trend, one notable driver being the technological evolution that has dramatically changed the skillset required for workforce demand.
In 1979, I was chosen to participate in Project Concern, one of many desegregation social experiments implemented during the sweeping idealism of the 1960s. Based in Connecticut, Project Concern was a program that bused minority students living in impoverished inner cities to wealthy communities in the suburbs. From the third to the 12th grade of my education, I was bused nearly 25 miles from the city of Bridgeport, CT to what seemed like a completely different world–the affluent town of Westport, CT. Even today, the disparity between Bridgeport and Westport remains the same; by 1991 Bridgeport was listed as 5th in the nation for cities with the highest homicide rate per capita while Westport remains one of the wealthiest communities in the United States. It was my experience in Project Concern that taught me the true meaning of "the other side of the tracks".