Reprogramming the Workforce: Ensuring Workers Have the Skills Employers Demand


October 10, 2018
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM


American Action Forum                      1747 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Fl Washington, DC 20006


Caitlin Wise [email protected]

The nature of work in the United States is changing rapidly, driven by globalization, immigration, and advances in technology. These shifts are forcing today’s workers, businesses, and educators to adapt, often with little sense of what the future will look like. Please join the American Action Forum, in cooperation with the Markle Foundation, for a discussion of these forces, the current and future state of the workforce, and public policy reforms.

The event will feature a keynote address by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett, opening remarks by former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and two discussion panels with leading experts from policy, industry, and academia.

Wednesday, October 10, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Doors open at 9:30 am, coffee and pastries will be served.

American Action Forum
1747 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 5th Fl
Washington, DC 20006

Watch Live Stream Here


Opening Remarks: Denis McDonough, Senior Principal at Markle Foundation, and former White House Chief of Staff

Panel 1: The Changing Workforce 10:00 – 11:00 AM

The panel will focus on how the shifting nature of work relates to significant challenges facing the labor force today such as declining labor force participation, rising job openings, stagnant wages, and skills mismatches.


  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of AAF & former Director of the Congressional Budget Office
  • Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies
  • Robert Lerman, Institute Fellow at Urban Institute
  • Moderator: Eric Morath, Wall Street Journal

Panel 2: Apprenticeships and Workforce Development 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The panel will focus on what is needed to prepare workers for jobs we know that employers demand now. Topics will include work-based training programs, apprenticeships, and policy reforms necessary to strengthen both.


  • Michael Train, Incoming President of the Emerson Electric Company
  • Harry Holzer, John LaFarge Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and former Chief Economist for the Department of Labor
  • Jim Rzepkowski, Assistant Secretary, Division of Workforce Development & Adult Learning at Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
  • Daniel Fogarty, Vice President of Growth at LaunchCode
  • Moderator: Ben Gitis, Director of Labor Market Policy at AAF

Lunch Break 12:00 – 12:15 PM

Keynote Address 12:15 – 12:45 PM

Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers