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Choosing Our Future: A Story of Opportunity in America


Source: Educational Testing Service

Human Capital

John Austin: President, Michigan Board of Education, Detroit, MI

When the Japanese began to make quality cars and ship them here, all these people's jobs in these great industries began to be diminished. And with technological change, it doesn't take as many people to operate, to make a car or to make a refrigerator. We still have high-tech auto and parts makers around here, but they employ 400 people, not 2,000 or 3,000 as they used to.

Mike O'Conner: Cedar Rapids, IA

Cargill and Archer Daniel Midland, they've been right there on the cutting edge as these economic shifts have happened. So I happened to be in a Cargill facility that used to employ 200 people. They now have four.

Bruce Buchanan: Senior Partner, Berlin Ramos, Rockville, MD

We've seen a tremendous amount of change in the 30 or 40 years that I've been involved in the accounting profession. Now, the whole process has been computerized. We can do four times as much work, but with half the staff that you would expect. The essence of what we do has been transformed from delivering information to interpreting data, and adding value to our clients.

Rick Stafford: Distinguished Service Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Today, we are defined by technology, by knowledge-based jobs.

Scott Peters: Co-Founder, Construction Robotics, Rochester, NY

My partner, Nate [Podkaminer], he's been in the construction industry for over 40 years. He really saw opportunity within construction, opportunity to increase productivity of the people by bringing technology, and really advanced computing, into the construction industry. My guess is we're getting productivity on the order of two to three times what you would with a typical crew. How do we retrain the workforce to not only leverage the skilled trade that they have, but retrain them to work with the robot so that now they've got this additive value of skills and really can help advance the worker that's working with the robotic system.

Elliot Cutler: CEO, Maine Center for Graduate and Professional Studies, Portland, ME

The people who lost their jobs were shocked that those, I think, those qualities that they brought to work with them every day weren't enough. Weren't enough.