Just six months ago, unemployment was so low that many companies struggled to recruit and keep skilled workers. Some employers offered employees enhanced education benefits, both to entice them to stay and to get them better trained for their roles.
Now, though, the job market has crashed, and millions of Americans are out of work or furloughed. And they’re the target audience of a new ad campaign from a White House task force encouraging unemployed or underemployed Americans to take the initiative to strengthen their job skills in order to “find something new.”
Created with input and funding from members of the task force—called the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board—as well as the Business Roundtable association of CEOs, the campaign includes a TV commercial and a website that highlights hot jobs and the pathways people can use to secure those opportunities.
The jobs data, which comes from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, highlights careers that were in high demand before the pandemic, such as nurse, electrician, and wind turbine technician, as well as some emerging occupations like contact tracer. The pathways information describes an array of options for building job skills, including apprenticeships, certificate programs and associate degrees—all billed as alternatives to a four-year bachelor’s degree.