General Assembly Launches Public Sector Vertical, Partners with Business and Civic Leaders to Reskill Unemployed, Dislocated Workers
Community Reskilling Initiative will expand access to digital skills training and job opportunities through multi-sector partnerships
Building on the success of initiatives in Louisville, Singapore, Atlanta, Sacramento, Buffalo, and other cities in the U.S. and around the globe, the international technology education provide General Assembly (GA) announced the launch of a public sector group that will partner with state and local governments, along with anchor companies and local providers, to serve underrepresented groups in tech and workers displaced by the pandemic.
Even before COVID-19 upended the global economy, cities were grappling with the urgent need to retrain and upskill workers for in-demand tech and digital jobs. Automation already threatened to displace millions of workers across retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and more – and these trends were only accelerated by the pandemic.
“Digital workforce training programs will be crucial toward helping displaced workers from the COVID-19 pandemic. General Assembly is a top-notch digital certificate program and their qualified staff helped train many Sacramentans who lost their job during the pandemic. We highly recommend their program to other cities across the country, and it will only continue to help advance our economic recovery,” said Greater Sacramento Economic Council President & CEO Barry Broome.
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As a global leader in digital skills training, General Assembly is a trusted educational partner to local governments, nonprofits, and hiring partners looking to build stronger, more equitable talent pipelines and help workers displaced by the pandemic get back to work in high-wage, high-growth roles. GA has already helped build multi-sector reskilling coalitions in Atlanta, Buffalo, Louisville, and Sacramento, partnering with employers, community-based organizations, and policymakers to deliver over 33,000 hours of fully subsidized training in 2020 alone. Outside of the U.S, as part of its work to ensure a talent pool that can meet regional employer demand, the Singapore government’s Infocomm Media Development Authority has subsidized training for over 2,000 career changers through GA’s programs over the past six years.
GA’s goal is to build on the initial success of this model to scale it globally in 2021 and beyond. Many of these partnerships will be led by Microsoft as part of their Accelerate initiative, a national effort to build regional coalitions in U.S. cities to “support the needs of Americans impacted by the global pandemic and address racial inequities in access to education.” The Community Reskilling Initiative is backed by support from GA’s parent company the Adecco Group, the world’s leading talent solutions company, through a $1M investment from the U.S. Adecco Group Foundation.
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“The mission of the Adecco Group is to make the future work for everyone, and our ambition is to create sustainable and lifelong employability for individuals, and to empower companies to optimize their workforces. This work is more urgent than ever, as the world of work undergoes unprecedented changes, with the pandemic accelerating existing megatrends,” said Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group. “The U.S. Adecco Group Foundation’s investment in General Assembly’s community reskilling initiatives is part of our broader commitment to ensure equitable economic recovery.”
Globally, the economic fallout has been felt harder by second and third-tier cities already struggling to compete with larger tech hubs in the fight to attract and retain talent. In the U.S., more than half of the U.S. total GDP concentrated in only 25 metros. In cities like Sacramento, civic leaders are leveraging federal relief funding to bring in training partners like GA to digitally upskill underrepresented groups hit hardest by the pandemic to build more pathways out of poverty. Internationally, the number of workers applying digital skills in Asia-Pacific countries will need to increase by over five-fold to keep pace with technological change, from 149 million workers today to 819 million workers by 2025. Models such as Singapore’s SkillsFuture create promising opportunities to ensure regions throughout the globe maintain resilient economies.
“As cities around the world seek the best path forward for economic recovery, it’s crucial that we work to transition more of our population into pandemic-proof careers,” said Lisa Lewin, CEO of General Assembly. “We have the best chance to do this at scale by working collaboratively – as educators, businesses, policymakers, and civic leaders – to provide in-demand digital skills and more equitable career pathways to the populations hit hardest by the pandemic.”