America has more high-tech jobs available than we have qualified people to fill. That reality has prompted the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to join the Trump administration's Pledge to America's Workers. As part of that pledge, the organization promises to create 392,214 new U.S. worker training opportunities over the next five years.
Why do Americans need technical training programs?
The CTA is a collection of member companies, and 42 of those companies are part of this effort, including Bosch, Canon, Phone2Action, Sony Electronics, T-Mobile and USAA. The technology market makes up 18.2 million jobs in the U.S. economy, which is 12% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). But there's definitely a shortage of workers to fill those jobs, particularly in emerging sectors such as 5G, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
"We now have 500,000 high-tech jobs open here in the U.S., but we don't have enough workers with the skills needed to fill all these jobs," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA. "If we want to maintain our nation's global leadership as a tech innovator and keep these jobs in America, we must help our workers develop the skills to succeed throughout their careers."
According to the CTA's own Future of Work survey, tech executives say that over the next five years they will struggle to fill software development, data analytics and engineering job openings. Some 92% of respondents indicated that they will need more employees with technical skills, and 66% say those employees will work remotely.
What are the training programs?
Amazon's Technical Veterans Apprenticeship program, which offers veterans on-the-job training in fields such as cloud computing, is one example of a training program in progress. Career Choice, another example, prepays 95% of Amazon's hourly associates' fees for courses in high-demand fields. Alternatively, Lockheed Martin's apprenticeship opportunities include internships for aerospace-minded high school students.
However, not all of these training programs or promises are a wild success. IBM, which had previously joined the pledge, fired workers and offshored jobs in 2017 despite reiterating plans to hire 25,000 people in the U.S. Some of the lost jobs were due to automation. That said, IBM did develop a career and technical education model called P-Tech that is now used in 80 high schools across the U.S. Students can earn a high school and an associate's degree in science, technology, engineering or math. [Interested in getting an IT certification? Check out our list of the best options in various high-tech areas.]
Who is participating in the Pledge to America's Workers?
The Trump administration's pledge was first announced in July 2018. It was quickly joined by other CTA members, including Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Deloitte, Ford, HP, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Toyota, VISA and Walmart. Those first companies have committed to developing more than two million training opportunities. The CTA is continuing to accept pledges from others.
The CTA is a trade association is made up of more than 2,200 companies; 80% of those are small businesses and startups. The organization helps them via policy advocacy, market research, technical education and fostering strategic relationships.
Here is the complete list of the new companies who have joined the pledge:
- A&K Robotics
- American Automation & Communications Inc.
- Audio Warehouse
- Bjorn's Audio Video
- BloomBoard Inc.
- BlueSalve Partners
- Canon U.S.A. Inc.
- Crestron Electronics
- Digital Creative Institute
- eForCity Corp.
- Founders First Capital Partners LLC
- Franklin Apprenticeships
- FulTech Solutions Inc.
- Future Ready Solutions
- Hedgehog Technology Services
- HiberSense Inc.
- InstallerNet Inc.
- LED Systems LLC
- Living in Digital Times
- Logic Integration
- Pribatis Inc.
- Senclo Inc.
- Sony Electronics, Inc. North America
- TargetPath LLC
- Titan Power LLC
- Up Sonder
- Voxx International