Give people resources and time to improve their skills.
Provide opportunities to showcase what they learned.
Applaud their accomplishments.
This section would be better known as Leadership and Respect. The core underlying skills are listening and caring. Dilbert, Office Space, and countless memes mark failures. Successes are amongst society’s greatest heroes: Colin Powell, Martin Luther King, Jr., Indra Nooyi, Sheryl Sandberg, and Steve Jobs.
- The Harvard Business Review offers classic and current insights.
- TED Talks are brief, impactful insights themselves modeling soft skills.
- Men Talking Mindfulness features a retired Navy SEAL commander.
- edX offers courses ranging from personal happiness to advanced coding. Most are free or with nominal charge; they make money if you want a transcript.
- Digital Networking Professional Program teaches how to engage others. Also follow its founder, Michael Quinn, on LinkedIn.
Technology skills are increasingly in demand. As the industry expands, so does the career path, often starting as administrators then growing to engineers and architects. Many of these allow for remote and flexible work. Here, we focus on opportunities for outsiders to enter the field.
- Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) provides free cybersecurity training to the public with additional access for federal employees and veterans.
- Technical writing makes you more persuasive. AWS re/Start offers technical/cyber training to people without technology experience. AWS administrators can often work from home for any company who uses Amazon’s cloud services. Entry level salaries start around $55K and go up to $165K per Salary.com.
- Salesforce is a major business cloud player, specializing in corporate sales and business systems. This is a growth field and people can work for any company using SFDC’s cloud services, often remotely. Average administrator salaries start at $70K and rise to $130K for senior administrators per Salary.com.
- See SFDC’s Trailhead for free training https://www.salesforce.com/blog/what-is-trailhead/
- “By breaking down barriers to learning and creating an equal and accessible pathway into the Salesforce ecosystem, more than 3 million people are already skilling up with Trailhead.” – Heather Conklin, Sr VP and GM, Trailhead
- Intel and Dell’s Artificial Intelligence AI For Workforce program (AI Deployments) partners with community colleges across the US. Their goal is to “empower students with the necessary AI skills for employment in the digital economy.”
- Switchup (switchup.org) is a guide to tech bootcamps, though most of these will charge fees.
Our skilled talent is critically important so developing these skills is crucial to our nation’s continued growth and success. Here are different opportunities to obtain or improve technical skills.
- SkillUp is a nonprofit that identifies new career opportunities and partners employees with training partners. They are “dedicated to helping workers secure a brighter tomorrow.”
- The U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov) has several resources:
- Adult Training Programs page lists several programs, including those for Native Americans
- The Employment and Training Administration helps find apprenticeships, new occupations, and education.
- Provide workforce development related grants and tax credits
- Conduct career planning and development with tools and strategies for workers
- Check with your state’s workforce development agency for resources
- CareerOneStop‘s network of American Job Centers helps people search for jobs and find training.
- Youth Councils guide youth programs in their areas along with Workforce Development Boards.
- The Job Hackers is a nonprofit that provides program management and knowledge worker training, especially to the unemployed.
- Mechatronics combines robotics, mechanical engineering, and computer science so programmers can see their work come to life. These skills are especially in demand for factories.