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The Great Divide:
Challenges of our Future Workforce
Joseph Kopser of Grayline Group
11
CHALLENGES
FACING THE
FUTURE
OF OUR
WORKFORCE
1
2
3
4
5
The Great Divide
6
7
8
9
10
11
Decoupling Productivity from Wag...
The US is in the midst of a
generation-long shift in labor,
productivity, jobs, and pay
Some jobs will go away while other...
DECOUPLING
PRODUCTIVITY
FROM WAGES
Historical correlation between labor
productivity and worker wage no longer exists
Labo...
INCREASING
WAGE
DISPARITY
BASED ON
SKILL
Stark divergence between wages and skill
Between 1973 and 2016, wages for
individ...
Potential reasons for drop:
2008 recession
Lack of reentry into the workforce
Lack of reentry into the workforce
Many who ...
SHRINKING OF THE MIDDLE CLASS
Middle class is under pressure and shrinking relative to upper and middle class
Wealth is go...
AI & ROBOTICS
ARE ACCELERANTS
Interactive machines will affect every
industry and public sector domain
Technologies offset...
BUILDING
THE
FUTURE
WORKFORCE
Historical examples of labor force disruption:
Wagon & Carriage industry --> Vehicles
Bookke...
Workers need skills to keep up
with digital economy
STEM
Skills machines cannot
perform
Critical thinking
Creativity
Commu...
EDUCATION
Traditional model of one-size-fits-all
education should be reevaluated 
Government, education, and healthcare
ha...
Companies should reevaluate hiring/
training process
Imperative to hire workers with industry
baseline knowledge but also ...
INCLUSION AND NATIONAL
COMPETITIVENESS
Aligning skills of as many people in the digital economy as possible benefits
every...
Joseph Kopser is a technology entrepreneur and expert in transportation, smart cities, urban
mobility, energy, national se...
Connect with me at JosephKopser.com
Check out my book, Catalyst, on Amazon.
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The Great Divide: Challenges of our Future Workforce, According to Joseph Kopser of Grayline Group

To fully understand and plan for the return to work after the impact of COVID, it's important to understand the trends already impacting the future work force. Kopser outlines 11 challenges from the shrinking middle class, wage disparities, and AI and robotics replacing jobs.

Joseph Kopser is a lifelong problem solver committed to building the teams needed to take on our toughest challenges. He is President of Grayline where he works with people and companies to bring together experts, data, and solutions to help companies and public institutions manage disruptive change. In addition, he is a technology entrepreneur and expert in transportation, smart cities, urban mobility, energy, national security issues as well as an Army combat veteran. Currently he serves as an Executive-in-Residence at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.

To connect with Kopser, visit JosephKopser.com.

Grayline Group knows that technology is changing faster than business models, and globalization has magnified the threat surface for companies, investors, and governments. Change creates opportunity and risk. It requires the skills of new leadership and strategy in the workplace.

Grayline Group brings together experts, data, and solutions to help business and government leaders manage transformation resulting from technological and socioeconomic catalysts.

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The Great Divide: Challenges of our Future Workforce, According to Joseph Kopser of Grayline Group

  1. 1. The Great Divide: Challenges of our Future Workforce Joseph Kopser of Grayline Group
  2. 2. 11 CHALLENGES FACING THE FUTURE OF OUR WORKFORCE 1 2 3 4 5 The Great Divide 6 7 8 9 10 11 Decoupling Productivity from Wages Increasing Wage Disparity Based on Skill Labor Force Participation Shrinking of the Middle Class AI and Robotics are Accelerants Building the Future Workforce Types of Skills Education Hiring and Training Inclusion and National Competitiveness Joseph Kopser
  3. 3. The US is in the midst of a generation-long shift in labor, productivity, jobs, and pay Some jobs will go away while others will emerge Widens the gap between winners (those with the skills to keep up) and losers (those whose skills are misaligned) Companies require proactive solutions THE GREAT DIVIDE Joseph Kopser
  4. 4. DECOUPLING PRODUCTIVITY FROM WAGES Historical correlation between labor productivity and worker wage no longer exists Labor productivity now measured by the amount of real GDP produced by one hour of labor Labor productivity continued to rise while pay and employment flatlined Work has become less important in the overall context of economic productivity Joseph Kopser
  5. 5. INCREASING WAGE DISPARITY BASED ON SKILL Stark divergence between wages and skill Between 1973 and 2016, wages for individuals: with advanced degrees increased by 32% with high school degrees decreased by 6% with without high school degrees decreased by 17% Digital economy has been great for those with the skills and education, but disastrous for those without Joseph Kopser
  6. 6. Potential reasons for drop: 2008 recession Lack of reentry into the workforce Lack of reentry into the workforce Many who had positions eliminated don't have the right skills to find new jobs People are opting out of lower paying jobs due to higher cost of living End of the spectrum of the labor force are the have & haves nots Being left behind = dropping out of labor force entirely Labor force participation rose as women entered workforce (20th century), remained constant (1990-2008), then dropped (2008-2016) LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION Joseph Kopser
  7. 7. SHRINKING OF THE MIDDLE CLASS Middle class is under pressure and shrinking relative to upper and middle class Wealth is going to those with skills fit for the new economy Those without the skills are being left behind Middle class defined as: “at least two-thirds of the U.S. median household income, but no more than double the median.” Evidence of growing divide between "winners and losers" (1971-2015) Middle class shrank - 60.8% - 49.9% of Americans Purchasing power also decreased Upper class grew - 14% - 21.1% of Americans Lower class grew - 25.2% - 29% of Americans Source: Pew Research Joseph Kopser
  8. 8. AI & ROBOTICS ARE ACCELERANTS Interactive machines will affect every industry and public sector domain Technologies offset many traditionally middle-class jobs without creating corresponding new jobs Will lead to collapse of middle class, which would have negative social and political consequences Joseph Kopser
  9. 9. BUILDING THE FUTURE WORKFORCE Historical examples of labor force disruption: Wagon & Carriage industry --> Vehicles Bookkeeping profession --> Computers & Spreadsheets Businesses must be proactive Preventing change is not a solution Digital Revolution Embracing change, Preparing next generation of workers How do we set the most amount of Americans up for success? Not just a government issue; businesses and communities need to be involved too Barries to success for skilled workers are at an all time low More skilled workers = more opportunity = more economic productivity Joseph Kopser
  10. 10. Workers need skills to keep up with digital economy STEM Skills machines cannot perform Critical thinking Creativity Communications Adaptability TYPES OF SKILLS Joseph Kopser
  11. 11. EDUCATION Traditional model of one-size-fits-all education should be reevaluated  Government, education, and healthcare have changed over last 75 years Rethink education process in context of the end product - skilled citizens Joseph Kopser
  12. 12. Companies should reevaluate hiring/ training process Imperative to hire workers with industry baseline knowledge but also have flexibility and creativity to grow and change as needed  Hiring and interview process is inefficient at finding the type of people businesses actually need Hiring based on prior success ignores the fact that yesterday's environment is not the same success as tomorrow's Further investment in training affects business performance and retention HIRING AND TRAINING Joseph Kopser
  13. 13. INCLUSION AND NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS Aligning skills of as many people in the digital economy as possible benefits everyone Happier, better compensated workers, lower crime, higher productive economic output, larger tax base National competitiveness transcends race, political ideology, age, gender, and region Human talent is our most important asset - we all benefit from getting it right Joseph Kopser
  14. 14. Joseph Kopser is a technology entrepreneur and expert in transportation, smart cities, urban mobility, energy, national security issues as well as an Army combat veteran. Currently he serves as an Executive-in-Residence at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. In addition, he is President of Grayline where he works to bring together experts, data, and solutions to help companies and public institutions manage disruptive change. Prior to co- founding Grayline, Joseph co-founded and served as CEO of RideScout, before it was acquired by Mercedes-Benz in 2014. Joseph also served in the U.S. Army for 20 years earning the Combat Action Badge, Army Ranger Tab and Bronze Star and is a graduate of West Point with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and also received a Masters from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2002. In 2013, he was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for his efforts in Energy and Transportation. In 2014, his company won the U.S. Department of Transportation Data Innovation Award. In 2018, Joseph ran for Congress in a race that attracted more voters than any of the 36 districts in Texas. Losing by less than 3 points in a heavily gerrymandered district, Joseph demonstrated that voters want civility and problem solvers in Congress. In his free time, he works closely with The Bunker, an organization dedicated to supporting veteran entrepreneurs. In 2017, he co-authored the book, Catalyst, which he recommends you check out on Amazon. In 2019, Joseph became the inaugural Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the CleanTX Foundation, an economic development and professional association for cleantech. Joseph lives in Austin with his wife and is extremely proud of three adult daughters. Joseph Kopser, President - Grayline Group
  15. 15. Connect with me at JosephKopser.com Check out my book, Catalyst, on Amazon.

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