By Alan Murray and Claire Zillman
June 22, 2018

Good morning.

I’ve written in this space before about how reskilling is one of the defining challenges of our times—an essential lifeboat in the effort to save capitalism. So it’s encouraging to see the Business Roundtable jumping into this issue with both feet. The group, which normally spends its energy lobbying in Washington, will announce this morning a Workforce Partnership Initiative which pairs top CEOs with local colleges and universities to “accelerate and scale best-in-class workforce readiness programs.”

The initiative addresses both a short-term reality—companies face an acute shortage of workers with needed skills—and a longer-term reality—technologies like AI will rapidly change the necessary skills needed in the workforce. It’s designed to help companies get the talent they need, but also to ensure workers are prepared to take advantage of the jobs of the future. In short, a classic win-win, for business and society.

J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who chairs the roundtable, told Fortune yesterday that many member companies have programs to promote training. But he believes the Roundtable can be “a force multiplier.” “Every company does something in this area,” he said, “but it has got to be ten times more. We have to do much more of this, for the sake of America.”

The initiative will initially focus on seven regions, as test cases. Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush is leading the Roundtable push, and will head the effort in the Washington, D.C., area. Aon CEO Greg Case and Accenture CEO for North America Julie Sweet will take the lead in the Chicago area; Rockwell Automation CEO Blake Moret will take the lead in Milwaukee; EY CEO Mark Weinberger will lead Raleigh Durham; IBM CEO Ginni Rometty will lead in the New York area; Siemens USA CEO Lisa Davis will lead in the Southeast; and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will lead in Utah. You can read more about the initiative here.

Training American workers for the coming technology revolution is also a key focus of the Fortune CEO Initiative, which is holding its annual meeting in San Francisco next week. I will be reporting on that gathering here.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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