Do you think education stops when you graduate?

I don’t.

It’s why I was so interested in watching President Biden’s first address to Congress last night, and hearing his plan for the future of our workforce. 

At 1Huddle, we know that lifelong learning and development is critical for every worker if they are going to succeed in the future of work. Unfortunately, as a nation, it is here that we are failing.

If we are going to create a more equitable, competitive, inclusive, and accessible future of work for every worker, then we need to have a real discussion about workforce infrastructure. And, get real about where we need to rebuild in order to ensure a strong foundation for businesses to thrive in the years ahead. 

President Biden covered a ton of topics and policy priorities during his address. Here are my top 10 quotes, many of which have to do with how we can create a workforce infrastructure that focuses on lifelong learning for every worker:

  1. “Twelve years [of education] is no longer enough today to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st century.”
  2. “No one should have to choose between a job and a paycheck or taking care of themselves and their loved ones or parent or spouse or child.”
  3. “Buy American. American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America to create American jobs.”
  4. “For too long, we failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis: jobs, jobs, jobs.”
  5. “Two million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic — 2 million. And too often because they couldn’t get the care they needed to care for their child or care for an elderly parent who needs help.”
  6. “No one — no one working 40 hours a week, no one working 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line.”
  7. “We need to ensure greater equity and opportunity for women. And while we’re doing this, let’s get the Paycheck Fairness Act to my desk as well. Equal pay. It’s been much too long.”
  8. “Look, we can’t be so busy competing with one another that we forget the competition that we have with the rest of the world to win the 21st century.”
  9. “We’re going to reward work, not just wealth.”
  10.  “I have often said: our greatest strength is the power of our example, not just the example of our power.”

For far too long, America has not taken workforce training and development seriously. We only spend 0.1% of our nation’s GDP on programs that help people adjust to workplace changes, and federal investments in skills training has decreased by nearly 40% over the last two decades.

Now, as our workforce and economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we face an unprecedented need for rapid upskilling and reskilling in every industry. President Biden’s speech showed that the Biden-Harris administration understands how critical it is to invest in our workers by overhauling workforce infrastructure. I was excited about many aspects of the American Jobs Plan

What does prioritizing lifelong training, education, and development do for our workforce? A ton. But, most urgently it can help every worker succeed in a future of work that will require more education and more skills to win on the job.

Is your company ready to get to work on the future of work? Check out 1Huddle’s R.A.I.S.E. Every Worker policy plan now and join the movement toward a better future for all workers.