What is the future for jobs? Is it dystopian or utopian? Seems technology really isn’t giving we humans much of a choice. Unless we continue to fight back.

Workforce development became a passion for me as editor of WRAL TechWire during the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009 – fallout from which our country and world still suffers from today. Why? Because in large part from the suffering I heard about directly from readers across the spectrum of WRAL’s reach in the Triangle and WRAL TechWire’s readership that, frankly, is global.

From anguished IBM workers in India to irate Lenovo employees in China, but especially from laid-off workers in our state, the question over and over again was: “What can we do now?”

Diversity, equal opportunity, STEM education, new technology and jobs are serious topics that deserve daily debate and coverage. More now than ever.

The worst … dystopian

To be candid, the worst part of my job since the 2002 launch of WRAL TechWire (Local Tech Wire, back in the day) has been writing about the devastation wreaked by the tech revolution.

The destruction of Nortel as a global company and the turning of a 6,000-employee campus in RTP into a ghost town.

The gutting of IBM.

More plant closings and layoffs than I can remember.

In 2017, the pace of technology is ever increasing, putting millions more jobs at risk.

Yet surrender is NOT an option or we face a jobless future with drones and automated checkout lines and ecommerce leaving shuttered malls and growing numbers of people watching their online bank accounts for the benefits checks to “hit” so they can pay their rent and buy home-delivered groceries.

The best … utopian

Which leads to disclosing what is the best part of this job:

The opportunities created by inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs to create new opportunities for growth, using the dreadful power of technology that is gutting our world and creating opportunities for the future.

In WRAL TechWire you will find six stories that focus on an issue that is crucial to our state and nation’s future. You guessed it

Workforce development.

All the stories, which were written by WRAL TechWire co-founder Allan Maurer, discuss solutions, not just the problems. I encourage you to read them all:

  • Execs, leaders: Education key to winning job wars{{/a}]
  • Strategies for winning job wars
  • UNC President calls for change in higher ed
  • Wake Tech president calls for leaders to avoid ‘analysis paralysis’
  • NCSU economist warns of more change to come
  • Technology is threat to change anything and everything

Is this package worth the investment of a good portion of my free-lance budget for the year to cover it? Darn right.

If we in the media continue to fall victim to the draw of cat videos and clickbait at the expense of a larger mission then we doom ourselves to further irrelevance in the name of readership and entertainment.

Bottom line: I pray our children and grandchildren will have the same chance at a good life we baby boomers have had in the world the “Greatest Generation” helped create.

Jobs and education go hand in hand if the young people of today and those who are still far from retirement are to have a chance at employment in the future.

Workforce development issues, STEM education, diversity and entrepreneurship focused on a better future will continue to be top priorities for TechWire going forward as all of us – you, me, public at large – play assigned roles in building the future.

Dystopian or utopian? You will help decide.