JANESVILLE, WISCONSIN—Reps. Bryan Steil (R-WI) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), co-founders and co-chairs of the Congressional Future of Work Caucus, held a virtual roundtable on the importance of supporting and preparing workers for a post-coronavirus economy. Panelists included Dr. Eve Hall, President & CEO of the Milwaukee Urban League and Tom Erickson, the Founding Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Computer, Data, and Information Sciences.

Left side from top to bottom: Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education John King Jr., and President & CEO of the Milwaukee Urban League Dr. Eve Hall. Right side from top to bottom: Founding Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Computer Data & Information Sciences Tom Erickson, President of Delaware State University Tony Allen, and Congressman Bryan Steil (R-WI)

“I am working to ensure every worker who wants a good paying job can find one. Congresswoman Blunt Rochester and I created the Future of Work Caucus to solve problems facing workers and proactively prepare the workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Now more than ever, we need to support workers. As we look to rebuild a healthy economy, workers must have the tools to meet the job demands of today and adjust to an evolving workplace. Thank you to Dr. Eve Hall and Tom Erickson for sharing their expertise on ways the government, private sector, and educational institutions can move our economy forward and get workers good paying job. I look forward to continuing working with Congresswoman Blunt Rochester to address the future of work,” said Steil.

“I want to applaud Congressman Steil and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester for being an example of what can happen when two parties come together. We need that more than ever. It is going to take both parties and all of us [in] business, nonprofit organizations, and faith based communities to address what is occurring,” said Dr. Hall during today’s event.

“Even with COVID-19, the demand for tech talent is outstripping supply. Post pandemic recovery will only increase this employment pressure with increasing workplace digitization and shifts to online consumption,” said Tom Erickson founding director of the School of Computing, Data and Information Sciences at UW-Madison. “Responding to this, we are expanding options in computing and data fields for traditional on-campus students, complementing and augmenting this with several online programs  for the existing workforce and remote learners. Meeting future employment demand, won’t just rely on our universities however.  Preparing younger students from PreK-12 with basic skills like statistics and computational thinking will build a strong foundation for workforce growth. Additionally providing learning opportunities earlier will widen pathways to opportunity, especially for students who have historically been underrepresented in these fields, like women, minorities, and rural students.”

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