Business leaders and experts from around the country gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas this week to talk about nothing less weighty than the rapid, relentless and widespread disruption of the economy enabled by fast-moving technological advances.
If that sounds far out, conference speakers were there to assure anyone with a job or who may ever need a job that it’s not. Here are five takeaways:
El Paso Community College created a transportation center that can help retrain truck drivers whose jobs are expected to be displaced by autonomous trucks by teaching them related skills like diesel tech or logistics, according to William Serrata, the school’s president.
Paul Quinn College in Dallas describes itself as an “urban work college,” its President Michael Sorrell said. It requires students to work a few days a week and attend classes other days. The jobs give students — the majority of whom are on Pell grants — the chance to graduate with a work transcript and connections that create a pipeline to employment. In the fall, it plans to launch a program for alumni that allows them to return to college and learn new skills, if their jobs are displaced by technology.
Other experts highlighted the need for better early childhood education — something the Dallas Fed has helped advocate for in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.