DAVE & DUJANOVIC

How will Trump’s Workforce Policy Advisory Board help students prepare for the jobs of the future?

Feb 14, 2019, 3:23 PM | Updated: 3:26 pm
Technology in school...
Students at Fox Hollow Elementary in West Jordan use an app to pick out their school lunch. (Photo: Ravell Call / Deseret News)
(Photo: Ravell Call / Deseret News)

There are 7.3 million job openings in America, and, the White House says, there is a serious gap between the skills employers need and the ones young Americans hold.

Our schools, in other words, are not preparing our youth for the modern workplace. Our children are being taught out-of-date skills in outmoded ways. In an era when everything is changing, they are being raised to enter a world that no longer exists.

That, at least, is the belief behind the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. This is a team, organized by President Trump’s administration, tasked with developing job training programs that will help better prepare students for a workforce dominated by new technologies.

Some of America’s most prominent minds sit on the board, including the chief executive officers of Apple, Lockheed Martin, Walmart. And with them sits Utah’s Scott Pulsipher, president of Western Governors University.

Pulsipher spoke with KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic about the Advisory Board and his role in it, and explained why he believes that the workplaces our children enter will be nothing like the workplaces of the 20th century.

Scott Pulsipher on the workplace of the future

Workplace of the future

Students at Hillcrest Elementary School in Ogden take a coding class. (Photo: Mike Anderson / KSL TV)

“We are at the cusp of, arguably, what has been referred to as the fourth industrial revolution,” Pulsipher says.

The Information Age, he believes, marks a radical change in every part of how we live our lives. Our workplaces, in particular, are now driven by machines that can do more than human work alone and in less time, changing the roles of people in the workplace.

Our new roles, he believes, are now driven by data. While analyzing, interpreting, and acting on data used to be a skill set only required by a select few, Pulsipher believes that these skills are now essential to almost every job out there.

That means that students need to know how to use those new technologies and how to analyze all the data that comes with them – skills that aren’t necessarily taught at every school.

Pulsipher believes that’s part of the reason he was chosen to join the Workplace Advisory Board. He says that Western Governors University has been recognized for being able to prepare students for the workplace of today.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is how they prepare students for the workplace of the future.

Our world and its technologies are changing so rapidly, he believes, that it is now impossible for schools to teach their students every skill they’ll need for the rest of their lives before they graduate.

“We’re coming to get certifications and credentials,” he says, “but those skills, et cetera, will only last for three years.”

He says that schools still have a responsibility to teach students those skills, even if they will become outdated. However, they also have to provide them with what he calls enduring skills: abilities like analytic capability, communication, and interpersonal skills that will continue to help them through every technological change.

They’ll also have to get students ready to adapt for those technological changes. Pulsipher believes that workers are increasingly going to be expected to be lifelong learners who continually take advantage of opportunities to learn as their workplaces evolve.

In many ways, he believes this has already happened. Baby Boomer and Generation X workers are already struggling to learn how to use apps and computers in ways that weren’t possible when they entered their fields.

Our children, he believes, are going to go through the same struggles on a bigger scale. If they’re going to succeed, they’ll need to be ready for an era that expects them to adapt constantly.

“We know that that intelligence age is coming,” Pulsipher says. “We have to ensure that education pathways truly enable the workers of the future.”

The whole story

If you missed Scott Pulsipher live on KSL Newsradio, you can still catch his whole conversation with Dave & Dujanovic on their podcast.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

affordable care act

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

A motorist drives through the snow in Olympus Cove in Salt Lake County. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret...
Curt Gresseth

Be Ready Utah: What you need in your emergency winter car kit

After a significant snowfall in northern Utah, are you prepared for a winter emergency while on the roads? Wade Mathews of Utah Division of Emergency Management -- Be Ready Utah joins the shows to give out holidays tips on being prepared for any challenges while driving.
1 day ago
Thanksgiving dinner with all the sides. (Stock photo)...
Alejandro Lucero

Pass the stuffing not the uncomfortable conversation this Thanksgiving

Dave and Dujanovic spoke with an expert who will help you void the gobble-squabble around the dinner table this Thanksgiving.
7 days ago
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 20: People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near the Club...
Curt Gresseth

‘I trained for this,’ says veteran who took down gunman at nightclub

A veteran joins the show to provide insight into the actions of another veteran who limited the loss of life at a Colorado nightclub by subduing the gunman until police arrived on scene.
8 days ago
Rioters at the US Capitol...
Curt Gresseth

Utah bill would limit police access to your cellphone data

A spokesman for a a libertarian think tank in Utah discusses why he supports a bill at the Legislature limiting law enforcement access to the cellphone of a person near a crime scene.
9 days ago
rollercoaster lagoon...
Curt Gresseth

Lagoon spokesman explains big price hike for day pass

Lagoon announces Primordial, a new one-of-a-kind interactive rollercoaster, coming in 2023, but with the new ride comes higher season passes.
12 days ago
Police provided an update but added little new information about four University of Idaho students ...
Curt Gresseth

Police stay quiet after quadruple homicide in Idaho

A killer is on the loose, police in Moscow, Idaho, are tight-lipped and a community is on edge after four university students were found slain Saturday.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
How will Trump’s Workforce Policy Advisory Board help students prepare for the jobs of the future?