The Labor Allocation Challenge: How Our Education System Must Adapt

In September’s newsletter, we launched a “big-think” theme about the macroeconomic trends leading to job dislocations and how we, as economic developers, can think about it and respond.

The original theme was the changing nature of jobs based on rising productivity and the associated lowering of demand for labor, especially non-specialized labor. It seems only fitting that the discussion would have to touch on education and how the changing nature of jobs might change the very nature of education. Or perhaps more accurately, how our education system should change to adapt to the future of jobs.

Workforce development is increasingly being integrated with economic development (witness Camoin Associates’ recent move to add workforce development consulting to our service lines). A natural extension of this reach is a reach into the educational system itself. The following video is a short and highly entertaining foray into how our K-12 educational system is set up, how it is entirely inappropriate for the economy of the future, and how we can think about changes to educational paradigms that will prepare the children of today for the creative-focused economy of tomorrow. I promise, it will be the best eight minutes you spend today on anything. Enjoy…


At a recent conference,we had a great conversation with our colleagues at Redevelopment Resources on this very issue. They recently posted two articles on their blog about preparing our workforce for the economy of the future:

And, as a “bonus item,” please also check out this brief article on the move to freelance work, and how it is becoming more about lifestyle and preferences than about economic necessity.

“Wait! That’s not all!” Round it out with a read from McKinsey about“Redefining Capitalism,” as they put it, with implications for the Labor Allocation Challenge—measuring and defining capitalism as the act of identifying and solving human problems, not simply the production goods and services.

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