This piece has been adapted from Talent Economy. Read General Assembly and Whiteboard Advisors’ full white paper, Investing in Talent, here (PDF).
Amid complex external and economic pressures, companies must face the reality that the nature of business is changing. The pace of technological change continues to accelerate, and in an era in which the shelf life of skills is less than five years, it is critical for employers to prepare their workers to adapt to the shifting demands of work in the digital age.
The good news for employers is that current federal policy provides tax-advantaged opportunities for companies to support employees’ educational aspirations. Rooted in sections 117, 127, and 132 of the tax code, educational tax benefits are somewhat unique in that they provide a double benefit: They are both deductible for the employer, and tax free to the employee.
Obama and Biden not only embrace technology, they plan to invest in high-tech training. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
With nearly one-third of Americans now holding bachelor’s degrees, the level of college completion in this country is at an all-time high. Yet, according to the federal government, by 2022 the United States will fall short by 11 million the necessary number of workers with postsecondary education, whether bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, or vocational certificates. More importantly, we could face a gap between the skills learned in the classroom, and those needed to do in-demand jobs.
President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers remarks on job training before signing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, July 22, 2014. Official White House photo by Amanda Lucidon.
In January 2014’s State of the Union Address, President Obama issued a rousing assignment to Vice President Biden, asking him to lead a review of federal training programs to identify and implement strategies to make these programs more job driven—that is, responsive to the needs of employers to “effectively connect ready-to-work Americans with jobs that are available now.” This review is part of a greater effort to grow the U.S. economy and put the American middle class back to work.
Andrew Rasiej, Brad Hargreaves, Julie Samuels, Senator Chuck Schumer, Jake Schwartz, and Derek Parham at General Assembly to discuss patent reform.
Last week, we were pleased to host two events that gave members of the General Assembly community an opportunity to engage with federal policy makers who are focused on promoting entrepreneurship and helping high-tech companies continue to grow and fuel job creation in the United States.
On Friday, we joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Engine Advocacy, and New York Tech Meetup, to host an event on patent reform featuring special guest Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Entrepreneurs, CEOs, policy wonks and other members of the tech community gathered at GA to hear Senator Schumer talk about his efforts to protect innovation in America through reforming our nation’s outdated system of patent regulation. In his opening remarks, GA Co-Founder and CEO Jake Schwartz tied the issue back to our community, a group of innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs we as a country can’t afford to stifle because outdated laws.
Patent reform event with guest Senator Chuck Schumer of NY; round table with Congressman Tom Marino of PA