Announcing the Future of Work Grand Challenge
As a nation, we’re facing the enormous task of making America’s economic model work for everyone, not just the select few. Even before the pandemic hit, we were seeing reports that as much as one-third of the American workforce could be out of a job by 2030 as a result of automation. There’s a clear disconnect between how workers are trained and what employers actually need, and experts are predicting that the pandemic will ultimately increase inequality and speed up the automation process: 86 percent of initial layoffs due to COVID-19 have impacted workers making less than $40,000. The American workforce can wait no longer for solutions.
In response to this opportunity gap, New Profit is proud to partner with XPRIZE, MIT Solve and a host of funding partners to launch the Future of Work Grand Challenge. This first-of-its-kind initiative aims to reskill 25,000 of those underestimated workers in the next 2 years and help 12 million Americans from underinvested communities prepare for workforce success by 2025. We’re facing the problem head-on with two distinct but complementary competitions: the XPRIZE Foundation, which has designed innovation competitions for several different industries, is challenging disruptive industries to radically reduce the time it takes to train and place workers. Solve, a marketplace for social impact innovation from MIT, in partnership with the Morgridge Family Foundation, is running the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the U.S. Challenge, a six-month competition to find and support the most promising solutions to help workers assess their skills, find high-growth jobs, and get placement support.
These competitions are designed to uplift disinvested communities and overlooked talent by empowering them to re-enter the American economy in a meaningful and enduring way. With this in mind, the Future of Work Grand Challenge puts equity at its core. Our goal is to inspire innovators across multiple sectors to create solutions to what is ultimately a question of equal opportunity for all of America’s workers. We are so excited to launch the challenge and to see what you all come up with.