Jennifer Taylor 

All right, well welcome to the CES, future of work con France track. My name is Jennifer Taylor and I am the Vice President of industry affairs at the Consumer Technology Association. We are the owner and producer of CES. And we're also the trade association that represents the US tech industry. And as all of you know, and while you're in this room ensures that our nation is facing an unprecedented skills gap. We've got record low unemployment rates, you know, for the past 50 years, we are facing an unprecedented low unemployment rates. And we have a skills gap that is very real and very significant. 5.8 million open jobs, but 7 million Americans looking for work. So we as an industry are working really hard and have some great strategies in place to close this gap. You know, technology advances such as AI and machine learning robotics are unleashing just millions of new jobs and it's absolutely amazing. That our industry take the initiative to prepare our future workers as well as invest in upskilling, and rescaling our our workers so that they can participate in these jobs. All companies recognize that human capital is their number one asset. Now, before we get started, let me just ask you all a question. How many of you have company or working in a company that is having challenges finding skilled workers? Raise your hand. Okay, that looks like about 95 to 100%. So, you know, our lineup today includes three really great topics and I'm hoping you can stay for all three. The first one is going to be about new innovations in the talent pipeline development process. The second one is the growth of apprenticeships in the tech sector, and apprenticeships for what we coin new collar jobs. And then lastly, we're going to have a panel that's titled so you hired a million And we're going to cover how this generation is having a positive impact on on the workplace, the the role that they're playing to modernize and drive efficiencies through technologies and also how they're making the environment, just a better place to work. So with that said, I now would like to introduce you to this panel, which is titled new innovations and talent pipeline development. And it will be moderated by David Lewis, President and CEO of Operationsic and he's also our Vice Chair of the 21st century workforce council at CTA, a good friend of ours. So welcome, everybody, and I'm looking forward to the discussion.

 
David Lewis 

Good morning, everybody. So, as you can see, when I talked to Jennifer about our ideas for CES for 2020, she asked, Well, what do you want to talk about? I said, I want to work this a little differently. We have such great engagement from some fantastic, world renowned brands. When it comes to the workforce council that we run, why don't we start picking this by terms of who can speak and who can be available at CES. And then we'll find a topic from that from that exercise. And I am ecstatic to have put together such a great panel today with Cheryl Carrier from Ford next generation, Alejandra Ceja from Panasonic Lee Wills from Sony and Joshua Winter from Microsoft. And what we're here to do is to try to take the innovations and the ideas that our organizations have come up with as it relates to figuring out the talent shortage issue and put it into terms that translates to everybody in this room. In short, you don't have to be a massive brand in order to have a successful strategy that will allow for you to fill positions today, tomorrow and in the future. If we don't take some different approaches towards things, we're going to be stuck in the same situation we are today. If you go out into this 15 mile radius of where we are today, excuse me. And you ask people who are at CES, how they're doing as far as talent is concerned, universally, the response is going to be like the hands that went up this morning, people are going to say flat out, they can't find enough good talented people, let alone warm bodies. And that problem doesn't look like it's going to get any better in the future. And it's evident by all of the amazing technology and ideas that we have here every year that we come to this event. So in order to be able to foster this, we need to come up with different ways to fill that pipeline. And our mission today as a panel is to be able to bring those ideas to everybody here in bite sized pieces in in a way that translates regardless of the size of your organization. So we're going to open up the conversation by talking a little bit about what Microsoft is doing. And Joshua, maybe you can start by just entering into the category of how does Microsoft think in terms of being able to satisfy what looks like a problem of lot of need, but not necessarily a lot of talent out there.

 
Joshua Winter 

Thanks, David. And before I start, I just wanted to thank Jennifer and Jackie and the CTA team for the opportunity to be on this panel. I was really excited when they asked me to come and talk about some of the work that Microsoft is doing, but also to be able to share what we're learning from the field over, I'm about two years enroll. And since I've been able to, to join Microsoft, I've had the opportunity to travel around this this country and other parts of the world to really engage with local stakeholders to understand what are the needs and local communities to help people gain the computing and AI skills and then connect to gainful employment in the digital economy. At Microsoft, we're really focused on our mission, right of empowering every individual and every organ organization on the planet to achieve more. But we know that as the digital transformation that we're helping to create is happening across sectors. We have a responsibility To ensure that people have the skills, the knowledge and the opportunity to thrive in this new economy. And so when we think about talent management and pipeline development, we're thinking about it as, as Microsoft as a company, but also across the broader ecosystem. And so we really approach our work through three lenses. One is how can we build the foundational digital skills for people across the globe. And so we've brought curriculum and content forward, translated now into 12 languages, from the very beginning stages of how people can can leverage technology and use in jobs because we know that while the digital transformation is happening, and lots been written about the fourth industrial revolution, you know, and the studies say 75 million jobs are going to be affected by AI and by 2022. It's a problem not just of the future, but of today, and how can we help people become tech enabled? And so we have a digital literacy content that's available online. We also think about how do we build Talent through the educational system. And so we have, we're thinking about how we can provide access to high quality, inclusive computer science education. And we have a program called TEALS, where we're now over 600 high schools across the country serving over 21,000 students. And what's interesting about this model is we're bringing in tech professionals from across companies to co teach computer science fundamentals principles, all the way through the AP course with math and science teachers, because we know there's a capacity shortage, right? How do we build the capacity of teachers to be able to teach computer science? There's not a certification in most states today around computer science education, how can we actually be a partner in the public and private arena around this? And then, lastly, thinking about computer and AI skills, how can we bring those forward and I'll talk later maybe about some very innovative programs that we're doing with community colleges with nonprofit organizations to really bring that forward. But we're really thinking about it across this continuum from foundational digital skills through the computing and AI skills.

 
David Lewis 

Thank you. So if you were here last year, and you saw Ginni Rometty keynote speech, she talked a great deal about the apprenticeship programs that IBM has rolled out. And you'll hear a bit more about that if you stick around for the next session. One of the things that IBM did last year was come out and start talking about the fact that that four year college degree is no longer the necessary component for someone to make them way into IBM. And we're starting to focus more on the core skills component, and on bringing individuals in from all levels of education. And I'm glad Joshua touched on this because it's one of the key themes I think we want to communicate is that, you know, a program like Microsoft certainly gets done more easily because they're they have that cachet as it relates to their brand, but you as a small business owner, as a startup have the equal opportunity to go to community college which is a hotbed right now for finding great talent these days, in addition to into your high schools and into even on the levels below that, and either offer yourself up as an advisor or even as an adjunct professor, but at least as a partner to be able to find that talent from those schools and work with the schools at all levels to be able to do that. So what I what I'd like to do pivot a little bit lead to what Sony is doing, as it relates to sort of reaching down and finding, you know, it feel like as talent acquirers, we've drilled 10 feet down and we've been successful in finding what we're looking for. Now it feels like we've got to drill 1000 feet down. So what does that 990 feet look like for Sony right now?

 
Lee Wills 

Yeah, that's a great question. Thank you, David. And thanks to Jennifer and Jackie, CTA as well. I'm really excited about this panel. And to be up here with great people are doing amazing things. You know, at Sony a few different things. One is I want to say that we are picking up the mantle that IBM is slowing down in terms of apprenticeship. We believe that is a true opportunity for Sony in terms of new skilled workers. And so in 2020, we will be launching an apprenticeship program at our offices in San Diego. We're really excited about it. So I'm happy to talk about that. The other thing is recognizing the talent that we have within the organization and making sure that we're continuing to upskill them. So absolutely. Are we continuing to look for top talent externally, but who is inside the walls at Sony? And how can we make sure that they have the skills that they need to move on to the next level? as an organization, we have, obviously business goals as you all do. One of our key business goals is actually building a bench of diverse leaders. So we want to make sure we've built talent into the business. It's a core part of what we're doing. So we've developed a lot of internal and external programs, partnering with universities and In order to have a model that's basically three tiers, there's sort of a foundational, there's business acumen. And there's leadership skills. And we've set up programs for employee. So we're looking internally and externally, David.

 
David Lewis 

So when you talk about the development exercise, and you mentioned a little bit about assessing sort of those resources, what can you talk a little bit about how you go about that assessment? Because I think one of the big challenges is that the shift that we're seeing over the last five years is that we as if we're recruiting talent, it's five years of this and two years of that, and it's a particular degree, and you're looking for all sorts of kinds of experience, and that wells dry. It's beyond dry right now. And so now there's been a shift in the last several years to what makes a successful engineer or what makes a successful fill in the blank. And it's communication skills. And it's the ability to work as a team, and it's having an innovative mind and it's being able to collaborate. And that's a different mindset for a lot of people. When it comes to sourcing, so how do you think about sort of the how to determine whether someone has the right core skills when their resume is not screaming five years of this and two years of that.

 
Lee Wills 

And so, a couple of things come to mind. Number one, is what you've described are often called soft skills, we consider those power skills, right? Those are really the skills that you need in order to be effective, and move within the organization and take on new opportunities. So those power skills are critical. We are doing a couple of things one has to do with having general global behaviors that we apply in the interview process, as well as for internal employees. So we've got that consistent standard and measurement that we're using utilizing. And it looks at those those core power skills in addition to Yeah, what's on the resume, but we can see more right, based on experience, work experience, yes, but educational experience leadership experience. volunteerism, all of those different things come into play and matter.

 
David Lewis 

And I think one of the powerful messages there is that organizations that have successfully sort of figured out that recipe and adjusted towards an approach towards those power skills, I like that term much better than soft skills, is taking a look at the most successful people that you have in your organization. And looking more closely at their resumes in their background, and trying to determine, okay, well, what are the common characteristics, you start to realize that for some reason, people with a history degree are succeeding in a particular position, or the people who came out of customer service, or even team sports have a greater level of success in positions. Those aren't things that showed up bright yellow before, but they are now when you start taking a look for them. So, you know, let's talk a little bit Cheryl, about where Ford sort of works this. So what do you do and what are you doing or what are you planning on doing that ensures that you've got a pool of people there when these technology driven positions They're there. And when that really cool electric Mustang that I saw yesterday, is going to actually be out there on the street, you're going to get all these people to support that type of development.

 
Cheryl Carrier 

Right? So. So we, you know, we have the same challenges, obviously, right that other companies do. But Ford has been very involved in education for a very long time. And we've done a lot of work in curriculum development and teacher professional development, which has been really good and as they have led us to a place where we, we finally said, we need to create an ecosystem that brings partners in a community together around transforming high schools to make the teaching and learning more relevant for students. And so we focus on the Career Academy model, which is something that's been around for about 50 years. This is a model in which small schools are formed within individual high schools and Students select themes that they want to learn in teachers, whether it's English language arts, social studies, math, science, and the CTE teacher are working together in their cohorted for three years, and students are learning the academics through that particular field of interest. It could be engineering, manufacturing, digital media, and arts. Whatever is prioritized by the workforce and economic development needs a region. We bring together the community which consists of workforce and economic development, local employers, civic leaders, nonprofits, and most importantly, employers large and small, to help them understand that this model will help solve the workforce issues of the future. And we create processes instruction and structures with the community to build out the academy model and scale and sustain it. The beauty of this is that, for instance, we're working in about 45 communities across the country, large and small, many of which I'm sure you come from. If we are in one of those communities, you would be able to plug in and attach yourself to one of those career academies that is in your field, and work directly with these students and these teachers on authentic projects. So these students are developing through these authentic projects with their employers, the mindsets, the attitudes, the skills to be successful in in the field of work that you're in. And so we're seeing not just improve student income outcomes, but an improved workforce outcomes as well. And, you know, I'll give you an example in Nashville. Graduation rates went from 58% to 78%. And four years, and that's pretty remarkable. There are over 300 employers that are attached to 45 academies in that community. And they are interacting with the students on a regular basis. And I was on a panel yesterday. These students are, you know, in many cases, they're going on to post secondary because this works for all students. 12,000 high school students in Nashville 16,000 in Louisville, are in these academies. But they're walking out of the door with 85 and $90,000 degree jobs, because they have the industry credentials. And employers are grabbing the students so there's a real opportunity for you to connect with students in these communities. And if you want to know where they are, just ping me and I'll help you get connected.

 
David Lewis 

Thank you for that. One of the things that struck me at CES last year was walking around in the areas where education related technology companies are displaying their products, and seeing these tools that are being sold now, that are designed to provide education to students in elementary school, and above, just for the purpose of being able to develop those core competencies and skills related to things like coding and technology development. And what's exciting is in talking to some of these firms, they're looking for companies to partner with because on the one hand, they're selling this product into the school systems. But the added piece of the puzzle would be to have a corporate partner, even a small one, even a startup, to be able to go ahead and go to schools together and say, Listen, if you're going to implement these, we'd like to figure out a way to help. We'll send some of our people over here to do the proverbial career day to share information with you as it relates to how a technology career looks and how these tools can basically contribute to that in a level that works for an elementary or middle or high school. And when I was talking to about 100, before today's sessions and sort of preparing for it, they've got a really exciting and innovative approach that they're taking going forward. Once you talk a little bit about that partnership, and how that may blow people's minds here about how you're getting into a situation where that education level is going to start at the most basic basic level and a great strategic relationship you have,

 
Alejandra Ceja 

Thank you. As a global tech, partner and leader Panasonic is always looking to make key investments that will transform communities and through the work that I am able to do. With the Panasonic Foundation, we are really looking to inspire the next generation of leaders for this country. Our work is focused on leveraging public private partnerships. So our role to have a seat at the table and not just present a check and walk away has been something that has allowed us to make key relationships in communities where we're focused on top One schools, these are schools that historically have been under resourced. We're focused on minority students trying to get more Latino, more African American students into the pipeline and into pathways into our industry. And recently, we've had some great partnerships that we've been able to leverage. And it's all about that collaborative work that needs to take place where we're not working in silos. And we're not just talking about the future of work, but really cultivating the talent that sits in our classrooms. in Newark, New Jersey, we have partnered with the students to science initiative where basically, as the tech partner, we are able to not just provide financial support, but also allow our employees that are the heartbeat of our company to go in and talk to students about their pathways and how they you know what it takes, you know, the life in their life to be an engineer to graduate from college. So the two and through is definitely important. When we talk about making sure that students have access, but this is an initiative that has the support from the mayor, from the superintendent from a company like Panasonic has the support from local leaders, parents, and so a lot of our work is really focused on collaborative partnerships. One of the recent initiatives that we just launched was with cam Skyhook. We partnered with Kareem Abdul Jabbar global icon. You probably wouldn't imagine him working with kids at the middle school level, but he has a cam Skyhook initiative that we were introduced to. And it has allowed us to invest in a program that is trying to chip away at a six year waiting list for students of color to have access to a one week stem camp. And this is a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District with the mayor with tech partners. So a lot of our work through the foundation really focuses on how do we make sure we're not working in silos and how do we Make sure that we can highlight and promote best practices so that other communities can help replicate or learn from some of the partnerships that we're able to support. So I think being at the table is definitely key, and making sure that we continue to connect our employees in the community. We have a very generous volunteer policy, we get a 40 hours of paid volunteer time off. And that has been something that's been very transformative in the communities where we work and where we live.

 
David Lewis 

That's great. So I guess for the panel though, the next question I have for you is that you're, you have some level of traction already with some of these programs. And and you've made some decisions about going in this direction. As far as these initiatives are concerned. How do you go about measuring their success? And and to what extent can you share what adjustments or lessons you've learned so far, so that you can sort of, you know, pass that wisdom on to everybody else here and anybody can jump in.

 
Cheryl Carrier 

Well, I will, I will tell you that it's very difficult to follow students and to track them. It's a it's a big issue. We get asked this question a lot, I'm sure that you probably all do. But you cannot use a social security number to track a student out of high school, even in high school. So it's a lot of it is anecdotal. I mean, we because we're working in high school, we can we can take a look at graduation rates and suspension rates and things like that. And everything is tracking in the right direction. The issue that we have, of course, is following them outside of high school and post secondary and into careers. What we are learning again, anecdotally is that employers are staying at the table. They're not, they're becoming co owners of these academies. And they are staying because they know that they're building their talent pipeline, and they're offering scholarships and they're offering internships they're offering teacher externships. So it's they wouldn't stay if they didn't feel that they were getting something out of it. But this is a big issue and something that I think we all need to be thinking about. And I'm sure we are I don't know if it's through a blockchain somewhere down the road that we start to track students. But yeah, that's, that's my take on that easy.

 
Joshua Winter 

Yeah. And just to build on that. Microsoft, we've, you know, we've been invested for decades on computer science education and building awareness about the need for digital skills. We shifted our approach in this past year to really focus on skills for employability and, you know, they say if you don't measure it, you won't know where you're going. And there's some famous quote from Peter Drucker, someone around that. And so we've shifted our whole measurement system, and our investment approach and partnership approach to really saying like just helping people be aware of the digital skills that are necessary has to value it absolutely. But an hour of code, a program that we've been leading for a number of years is great. But that can't be the measurement that we we hold ourselves to saying, you know, 50 million people in the past year participating in our code. Where does that leave that individual longer term? And so it is as as, as Cheryl mentioned, this opportunity to think about where where do they go next? How can we connect this to internships and apprenticeship programs? And where do we see that that thread line going through? But you know, it's it's a two sided coin, right? It's not just us changing our measurement system, but it's also about how we think about talent. And so we've been partnering with an organization called the Markle Foundation, and their skillful initiative, and they're working with employers, along with job seekers, right through career coaches to say how can we provide the supports going forward, so that people can see themselves in those jobs. How can we ensure that people who look like individuals that are not in the as represented the tech sector today have mentorship opportunities going forward? And then how can we make it easier for employers to actually think about talent and those power skills going forward and so they've created this online tool called the skillful job generator tool, job, skillful job generator skillful calm if I get it, right, you can, you can look it up you can bing it and find it.

 
Joshua Winter 

And thank you and and and what it does is it actually takes that traditional job description it uses for the for the policy wonks in the room, the O net, and the ESCO databases from Europe and translates job descriptions into competency based or skill based job description. So we're moving the college degree requirements to you know, to more about whether the country sees that are needed for a job from a welder to a software engineer. So you're really opening up that aperture. So for small and medium sized enterprises, we have found that that to be something where we get we have a lot of a lot of traction, a lot of stickiness where you can go online and matter of two to three minutes, you have a job description that you can tailor to your company's needs. And you can now think about talent in new ways, but supporting talent and then supporting the employer. So adopt new practices, I think is critical to this work.

 

Lee Wills 

I wanted to add on to what Joshua said, as relates less to the high schools and more about the apprenticeship program, because I'm super excited that we're doing this but it has been a learning process for us because it is a whole different way of looking at talent, opportunity and the workforce. And so we've had some learnings along the way that I'd love to share for the companies that are thinking about it, and I highly encourage you to do it is just you know, part of the workforce planning piece, right. So what apprenticeship should ultimately create more opportunity for folks coming in the door, which means you may be able to upskill other folks that are there, but then continue to hire. So how do you work? How do you plan your workforce in a way that's going to be effective. So what we've done is really involve our business. So the business leaders to say, here's what the next three years look like. So we know where we're going to have skills where we're going to have jobs, and plan with that in mind. The other thing is to make them part of this process. So I just want to make sure that those of you who are interested, and apprenticeship, bring as many people along as you can, because it is a culture shift. It's a definite culture shift. And some of the things that I've heard all of our panelists talking about are cultural things and diversity. And those are things that we have to consider because we're bringing in a whole group of people that aren't there are traditional model of hires. So it is a culture shift, and it's a change management process.

 
David Lewis 

So let me build on that culture theme because I think one of the Things that a lot of companies struggle with, regardless of their size. Is that okay, so we have a great place to work. And we are now also going to look at an initiative that involves going to the community college going even down to the high schools and the middle schools. And what are we trying to do? We're trying to message to them. Hey, tech is cool. We're cool. And we want to go ahead and drive you to our front door. And that that isn't just about the but the new versions of pipeline development that we're talking about today. That's an ongoing battle. So Lee, how, how do you sort of summarize what it's like to work? I mean, you have the advantage of the brand that most of the people in this room don't. So immediately, people are enamored with the brand and I think that goes for everybody up here, you know, banging on the door down to come in without really knowing exactly what it's like to just know what your organization has done as a brand. But how do you go a step further with whether The information on your career pages or the information that you communicate through some of these programs to make it clear on what it would be like for that person if they were working in your organization. Yeah, I

 
Lee Wills 

love this question. Thank you so much, David, I'm really very passionate about authenticity in the workplace. So I can't just say that Sony is a great place to work if it isn't, as a part of my responsibilities, talent acquisition, and but it's also engagement and culture. And we have created a strategy that's really two prongs. And underlying our talent strategy is culture and environment. And so we've been very, very focused over the last three years I've been at Sony, and making sure that we do have that great place to work and have changed many of our practices and policies in order to make sure that what we say is what we are. I'll give you just a couple of examples is from a flexibility standpoint, we have a an open vacation policy, which means that you can basically take vacation, anytime And for a non exempt are for exempt employees. We also instituted flex Fridays. So on Fridays, we shut down at one o'clock so that employees can go home and spend time with their families. We used to have a more formal dress code, a couple pages long. Now it's one sentence dressing away appropriate for your job. We put in a farmers market, there's lots of things that we've done to make it a really great place to work. And so we've also decided that we don't just get to say it, but we have actually gone out for awards to get certified as a Best Place to Work company, by external organizations because it is important and it is a talent war out there. People have a lot of choices. So want to make sure that it is a great place for the people are coming in the door and the people who are already there. That's great.

 
David Lewis 

I think one of the key messages to share on that front is you need to think of your talent pipeline development and your recruiting exercise. as important a marketing exercise as marketing your product is concerned because you're selling the opportunity to work in your organization, you know, and it isn't a inexpensive exercise. It's it's several pages on a website. It's testimonials from people who've been there for a while. It's a video that you can self produce that shows people what it's like to work there. It's talking about programs like we just described, people like to know that they can dress in jeans every day, people love to know that they can go home and see their kids off the bus Friday at three o'clock in the afternoon. Those value propositions are key in our efforts to be able to just sort of fill that pipeline and be able to attract and then ultimately retain that talent. How does that translate from a Panasonic perspective? What do you do to ensure that your culture is clearly communicated to the prospective employee for today and the one you hope to see on your front door 610 years from now?

 
Alejandra Ceja 

Well, it's embedded in our history for 100 years contribution to society has been the number one basic business principle for our company. And our business units across North America has internship programs have scholarship programs. So the work of the foundation is really to help anchor and complement that work. Focusing on students focusing on that pathway into our industry, working closely with our human resources team to make sure that we, our investments in the community are really complementing. We know the gens ears and millennials, it's a hot market to attract them. So, you know, just this week, Panasonic announced what moves us campaign. We've got our Olympic ambassadors, Katie ledecky, and Michael Phelps that are going to help reintroduce Panasonic to a new generation of potential talent for us. So a lot of the work I'm doing is really trying to anchor investments that we know are critical to nonprofits in communities where we have

 
Alejandra Ceja 

a huge

 
Alejandra Ceja 

talent in classrooms with students that don't always have access to STEM curriculum to coding. We've partnered with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to launch coding institutes across the country, so that we could help address an opportunity gap that we know exists. Where in in the US, nine out of 10 we don't have computer science and nine out of 10 schools. And so really using data and research, the latest research to make sure that we are being intentional with critical dollars that will support nonprofits, and that will help complement the work that's already happening with our business leaders to complement the apprenticeship and the internship pathways that they already have available.

 
David Lewis 

Yeah, Cheryl.

 
Cheryl Carrier 

Yeah. The culture piece I think is really, really important and I'm really glad we're talking about this. So our program is a Ford Motor Company fund sponsored program, but we have a small organization Ford ngl is 10 people. But we really embrace this idea of the outward mindset. And I don't know if you're familiar with a group called the Arbiter Institute, but it is really between us really taking the time to know our team, what their strengths are, their weaknesses are and we've done a lot of personality test and everybody sort of rolls their eyes initially when we do it. But at the end of the day, we really know what we're good at and what we're bad at. For instance, nobody wants to give me a detailed project to do, I can start things I've got big ideas, I can kick it off, but you do not want to hand me the the nuts and bolts, it would be a disaster. But we know that about each other. And we also know that sometimes we need to get better at things. So we are very intentional about providing all of the tools and the training that people believe they need as well as what we think they need but more importantly what they think they need to be successful. The outward mindset through arvinder Institute has really helped us in our consulting role with communities to be a more humble consultant. And to be a better listener, and really find out what people need and have those empathy conversations and the whole the whole idea behind the outward mindset of seeing people as people, and not as objects that get in the way, and once we adopted that, I cannot tell you what kind of difference it's made in our work and the way people view us. And when we bring people in, we do sort of an internship apprenticeship program where they spend time with us and we pay for their training, they come to things with us, they get to learn about the work that we do, and we make sure that it's a good fit for them and that they will be happy. So I think the culture piece is really important in giving the Flexibility especially to younger people. Millennials, I think have have have gotten a very bad rap. They are very hard workers. They are devoted. I had people that came to work for us and said, we'll give you two years. And there you know, 13 years later, they're still with us. But it's because we really respect their, their lives as well. And I think that's really important today,

 
David Lewis 

Joshua, appreciate, hear where you're going with that.

 
Joshua Winter 

Yeah. And just to build on that, I think, look, a few things come to my mind. The first is this idea of a growth mindset, right? As the economy has shifted to this people center, Human Centered economy, it is your greatest asset of every business, if you're a large company or a small company is the talent that you have, right? And so how can we really think about the lifelong learning that we all need to take on I was astounded I'm two and a half years enrolled out now at Microsoft, and was really astounded that that this this shift that was happening at Microsoft, and it's continued to happen where people are continually learning and there's time set aside. So it's from the very top of the organization and Satya Nadella talks about this all the time. But having the, you know, it's this growth mindset, this empathy, being, you know, while being customer focused, and really enabling employees to learn on the job and gain new skills. But to the point about culture, I think the other thing that's really important is around transparency, right? And the tech sector, you know, right or wrong has a reputation, right, of not always being the most welcoming to, to to all all groups, and not being well represented in and reflective of society. And so we are very transparent and just what is our progress that we're making, in having more gender diversity, more ethnic and racial diversity of our workforce that represents the customers we serve in the communities that we're located in? And it's not always you know, the news that we want to lead with but it's about sharing With employees and helping them to understand that there are opportunities to move into leadership roles and having your GS employee resource groups and programs to build talent within the company is something that we've invested a lot in to address this culture issue as well.

 
David Lewis 

And I think they have a successful culture means tapping into the opinions and the input and the resources that your employees bring to the table. So on the communication side, if you do exit interviews, or if you look at exit interview data that's reported every year, you'll see that one of the top reasons people leave is because of what they feel is a lack of communication by their employer, and a lack of transparency. So that's a critical component. But the one the The other thing that comes up that I want to introduce back to the panel, is that both on the Society for human resources management surveys every year, and on the CTA workforce survey this past year, we asked the question of what the top sources would be for your hires, and the number one answer in both of those surveys. Employee referrals. And your employees can be a, an incredible source of top talent for you, if you ask them for that kind of help. And if you provide some level of incentive, this isn't about giving people a $25,000 bonus, just to be able to get a new employee, although I'm sure if you did, you'd probably have a lot of success and a lot of candidates. But but to that, and maybe we can just talk a little bit fundamentally about where employee referrals as a tool for being able to create a pipeline, and sort of work for your organization. I'll start with you. I 100. Do you guys have an employee referral program with Panasonic?

 
Alejandra Ceja 

We do a lot of that work is led through our HR division. So we work closely with them. We work closely with our communications team to really make sure that we can create more awareness on the investments that we're making. But a lot of the work I focus on really is trying to make sure we cultivate that talent in the classroom. We are looking at middle school as that target population that we want to inspire. And I really kind of want to something Joshua mentioned just in the importance of making sure that we are inclusive, there is a demographic shift that is being predicted, where you're seeing in 2060 55% of the population will be minority. So we're being very intentional and working, making sure that we can work with HR with comms with our business leaders so that we can prepare our Latino students or African American students for this industry. So a lot of our work really is focused on, on making sure that equity is at the forefront of the closing that opportunity gap. So I think making sure that we're also not working in silos. So I'm excited about collaborating with my colleagues here because a lot of what they've mentioned is an opportunity for us in the communities that we're looking to target to partner efforts, especially bringing the TEALS program to Newark, New Jersey. Yes. So

 
David Lewis 

that's great. Joshua, do you know, can you talk a little bit about the employee referral program?

 
Joshua Winter 

Yeah. So we certainly have an employee referral program. It's not the $25,000. It's it's more in the $1,000 range with but it's, again, this I think, what's most important is, it's about helping to expand talent pools and networks, right. And LinkedIn, which is part of Microsoft. Interesting fact, I learned recently through them is that while your first network, right, is is who you engage with, and most of the time, more job referrals and connections actually come from your second and third connections, because it's a more diverse group of individuals that you that you're then engage with and be able to reach to and so there is this network gap that I think is really important to talk about, especially in the tech and just street of how can we help? Or how can we engage our employee base to address those equity issues, though 100, just just noted and raised that we're so focused on as well. And so we're thinking about ways that we can leverage our employee base, to be mentors to engage in communities directly in through some programs that we have with some nonprofit organizations as we think about the work going forward. But also how do we help individuals build that network and so there is this opportunity to be a mentor to someone on LinkedIn that you can just click on and they'll match you with somebody. That's a step that you know, anyone can do, but especially the way that you can engage your employees. No matter if you're a small or large company to think about increasing talent pools.

 
David Lewis 

It's great. Lee, can you talk a little bit about your employee referral program,

 
Lee Wills 

we absolutely have an employee referral program. It's one of the most significant ways that we get new hires into the company or job site and then LinkedIn. The challenge that we face with employee referral programs is that people tend to know people like themselves, right. And so if we're looking or seeking to drive diversity, it's not always the best tool to enable that. So there are definite advantages to employee referrals. And we encourage them, we just know the challenges that it presents as well. So it's a

 
David Lewis 

great point, I have a client who put a program in place. And before they knew it, their culture shifted. Because the overwhelming majority of new hires they made over the 12 months thereafter, were all individuals that turned out to be sourced or referred by a small group of people within the organization. Most of those people were cast offs from another entity in the local market that had just downsized. The good news is they filled a lot of positions relatively quickly. The challenge they had was that it caused the organization to look and feel like more about that castoff organization, then it did their own organization. And they had to try and figure out how to fight a little bit of that of that battle. So I think it's a great point to make that you have to, when you do the employee referrals, you know, they're it's sort of like candy, you know, have a couple of pieces, but start eating the entire ball you're going to get you're going to get sick as an organization as it relates to bringing in maybe the lack of diversity that you described, or sort of that homogenizing of a particular department or division. So Cheryl, do you can you talk a little bit on the employer referral site,

 
Cheryl Carrier 

I can actually can talk about for its policy, because I've, while I'm consulting for them, I'm been away for six years, but I will tell you that exactly what you were saying, ladies in our small, small organization, we have a lot of people that want to come work for us, right? Because we do this really amazing work. I mean, we we all love what we do. And we do have, you know, internally, people are referring people all the time, but we're asking this question. Do we look like the communities we're serving? And are we are we being very thoughtful about making sure that we have diverse voices and people at the table, so it's about all I can say about it. But it's very important, from our perspective to look like, who we're serving.

 
David Lewis 

So everybody here has some level of experience, either organizationally or personally, at taking that step of approaching the local school, whether that's defined as elementary, middle High School, community college or college with just the opening discussion or salvo of, hey, we'd like to have just a dialogue, just to try and figure out here's our objective. We, for everybody up here, the benefit can start with, we are who we are, you know, our brand. But when we get past that, it's, we want to raise awareness about the industry. We want to raise awareness about the direction that I'm that our companies are going and the opportunities that exists there and move that in a way that collaboratively goes on some path. It doesn't have to be. And so we want you to do this, or we want to be a professor here, or we want to have this program, we want to talk about it and have a collaboration. So I want to just get a little sense of what your advice is for the rest of the group here. Because a lot of the companies that are here are not benefiting from the brand that you all present. But I think a lot of the core components of that discussion, I think, are easily translatable, regardless of what size business you are. So, Joshua, from your end, I mean, what's the advice you can give in terms of that, that outreach, and that and that sort of dialogue? Starting process?

 
Joshua Winter 

Yeah. You know, I think, as I've been able to engage with a number of community colleges, what's really resonated for me is that they are sometimes leaps and bounds ahead of four year institutions. Thinking about what is their role and who's their customer in the marketplace. And they really see employers as their customer as well as their students, right? Because they are working with folks often who are come, backers, people coming back to gain additional skills. They're not always in degree programs, but in certificate programs, and if their industry recognized credentials, that's going to help them connect that person to to employment, which is one of their their key metrics. And so being able to engage and almost every community college I think, and I've now worked in thinking of an example in southern Virginia, I'm thinking of in Cheyenne, Wyoming, we're working with community colleges. They have someone's focused on community partnerships and workforce development. How can we partner with those institutions? How can you partner with them to say we are looking for talent, even small cohorts of five or 10 or 12 students, they will help design a program to skill people to your needs if it leads towards that stackable, transferable credential that that person can then build on throughout their career. And so there's more and more opportunities to do that. And so I think that the challenges you don't know your community college and Community College may not know the business community as well. How can you build those partnerships, often the chambers are great at at being an avenue for that. But even just picking up the phone and and I've done this and cold call the Workforce Development Group or the career coach at a community college, they are very responsive to this idea and want to and are great at forming these industry partnerships. But it doesn't have to be for 100 people, right? It doesn't have to be 50 people. They will do programs to connect 10 12 people going forward.

 
David Lewis 

Even the deans of a school, the professor of a computer science program, they are looking for angles to be able to more effectively successful placed their students and create an environment where they're more marketable as an educational entity, you help facilitate that if you make those reach outs, and they will work with you and partner you in that way 101

 
Alejandra Ceja 

At least said it best when you're going into a new community, be authentic, be clear in terms of what you can offer, if its technical assistance, if its funding from, from what we do with the with the foundation, if it's a grant, a lot of the work that we're doing, we did a lot of asset mapping in Newark, for example, internally and externally. We met with our HR team and asked what are the top three skill sets you look for in in hiring new employees and it was students that had data science, data analytics, computer science, so we took that information from our HR team, and then started working in the community and asking our local community college and our local Rutgers we have Rutgers Newark, which counselor, Nancy Cantor, and just started having conversations in the community. And I just really have to emphasize that it's so important that we don't work in silos because it's so critical. This is a time sensitive issue, a lot of the shift you're seeing demographically is already taken place in our public schools. In 2014, you saw a new majority minority of students. And so I think we have to be authentic when we go in and especially when we're working with nonprofits that are ready doing this work that are already tasked with having to measure this work. So I really am trying to use my bully pulpit to compliment the work of our business leaders. But to be more intentional when it comes to really making sure that there are clear pathways into our industry and especially for kids of color, but I just really think being authentic will open up so many doors and conversations. They are looking for that tech partner, they are looking for that corporate partner resources are critical. Especially with the A lot of the cuts you're seeing in education. So we have a responsibility. And I'm just excited for the opportunity to also learn about ways to partner in some of the communities that we're going to be looking to dive deeper into. So we'll be looking to, we're going to be focusing on California and Nevada, Atlanta, Georgia, Newark, New Jersey. So if you're out there look forward to connecting with you on exchanging information on how we can work together,

 
David Lewis 

we talked so much about how much your employees are resources for you look at the resumes of the employees you have that are the stars and the high potentials, and see what schools they came from, and use them as a conduit to be able to connect as an alum with those colleges and universities, especially if they're local and they're in a desirable footprint to be able to help find some of those relationships. Nothing will open that door quicker than someone who already is going to start the conversation by saying I graduated in 2007. And my company's really interested in talking to about ways we can collaborate because, you know, this is an exercise in planting for trees, you know, not planting for vegetables, vegetables grow in a few months, trees take years to to emerge. And this is a long term initiative that you need to look at if you're going to have talent available for the tech sector. It's going to take a long time. There are some short term fixes. But you've got to also focus on the long term. We've got a couple of minutes. But before we have to wrap up here, so I just wanted to offer up an opportunity for anybody in the audience to ask a question or two, before Jennifer pulls us off the stage and we get to our next presentation. We're going to bring a mic out here now. So if anybody's got a question to throw their hand up, great, so if you wouldn't mind. Thank you. And if you've got a question behind her, feel free to make your way over to where the microphone is down the middle. Whoever's there first can start.

 
David Lewis 

Gotta be seven foot two to use the mic. Maybe Kareem is here. We're talking about teleworking. So part of our strategy I know a little little tough to hear, but is teleworking part of your strategy.

 
Lee Wills 

I will say for Sony, absolutely. We have positions that are location neutral. I get percentage of our employees work from home. So that's not an issue. It's encouraged.

 
Cheryl Carrier 

Same here. Yeah, in fact, we don't have an office. We have our own offices and come together on a regular basis. So yes, we encourage them.

 
Joshua Winter 

Likewise, in Microsoft, we encourage telecommuting, but I do think there's a there's even a greater opportunity that I'm just starting to put my finger on, which is really as I've gone to a lot of rural communities recently as we think about who's benefiting from the digital transformation that's happening. And there is a growing divide right or perceptional divided at least around urban and rural areas is this idea of how can we help people gain skills, but then also be gainfully employed in their communities, and not having to, you know, move from Wheaton, Virginia, to Raleigh Durham, or to Richmond, where there might be a job for them. And then that, you know, often that losing that talent is creates that brain drain idea. And so we're thinking about ways we can leverage the broader Microsoft ecosystem of our supply chain and our channel partners to really help connect people to employment in their local communities, how they can work, not just for Microsoft, but for our broader ecosystem and in a remote work environment.

 
David Lewis 

And I think one of the things that we're observing is that it's it's relatively easy these days to go recruit in other markets and find people who are willing to work remotely. The challenge is training your mentor managers on how to manage a staff of people who are not sitting in a traditional workplace in front of them every day. Make sure you look for ways to be able to get your managers comfortable with that exercise because it's a very specific skill. And it is where companies crash and burn if they don't do that, I'm sorry, next question of prep chance, maybe one or two more before we wrap up.

 
Speaker 

Inspired technology. So I just want to let everyone know that there are there are organizations all around the world.

 
David Lewis 

Thank you very much. I'm having a hard time. So, two things we had a tough time hearing all the pieces I got the general sense of it. What I would do but for purposes of Time management is if you wouldn't mind because I think 100 probably has about 20 minutes worth of responses to what you just outlined because of the wonderful things and comprehensive program that Panasonic is offering. So if you wouldn't mind coming up as soon as we wrap up here, and and and you can talk to us, one on one at that point, and I'll ask the other people are going to ask questions to do the same, because we're out of time. So I just First of all, I want to thank our panel, for all of your contributions and insights

CTATECH-PROD3