JFF, a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems, today announced the launch of an ambitious framework to define a new category of employers adopting talent strategies that make a positive impact on workers, communities, and the bottom line. Developed with support from JPMorgan Chase, JFF’s Corporate Action Platform is designed to equip companies with evidence-based strategies they can use to boost economic mobility among frontline, entry-level, and low- and middle-skilled workers who are at risk of being displaced by artificial intelligence and automation.
“Businesses can do more than simply react to—or navigate around—skill and equity gaps. They can take action by embracing strategies that affect both individual and collective outcomes,” said Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF. “This work reflects an awakening among companies that recognize that building tomorrow’s talent pipeline not only enables sustained economic growth, but also provides a powerful competitive advantage.”
A primary component of the Corporate Action Platform is the Talent Framework. Rooted in the experience of companies like Patagonia, Unilever, IBM, and Disney, the Talent Framework was designed to mobilize and support companies as they move along the path to becoming Impact Employers.
The Framework includes both traditional components of corporate talent strategy—like recruiting and retaining employees—and emerging practices for reskilling and offboarding workers displaced by globalization or new technologies. Each of the six components, or levers, of the Framework represents a business area in which companies can modify existing practices to achieve significant returns. JFF will provide strategic assistance to companies to support implementation of high-impact solutions, including the design and execution of effective worker transition programs and benefits packages that include education and tuition support.
“As technology transforms the workplace, we have to get serious about new-skilling our talent,” said Jennie Sparandara, head of workforce initiatives, global philanthropy, at JPMorgan Chase. “Addressing this challenge requires deliberate action to ensure we’re doing everything we can to spread prosperity more widely and giving those left behind a chance to learn the skills they need to get in-demand jobs.”
JFF’s introduction of its Corporate Action Platform comes as the nation’s largest companies struggle to fill open positions and turnover rates continue to soar. Recent research suggests that more than two-thirds of employers report talent shortages and nearly a quarter say they’re having more difficulty finding qualified candidates now than they were last year. These skill and talent gaps stem, in part, from the impact of technological change on the global labor market. According to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs 2018 report, 50 percent of employers expect that automation will lead to a reduction in their full-time workforces by 2022—and more than half of the world’s workers will require significant reskilling.
“The Corporate Action Platform defines a body of work that moves talent practices beyond the pragmatic needs of individual companies,” said Josh Bersin, a talent development expert and global industry analyst. “This framework goes beyond good corporate citizenship to help redefine talent practices in a way that reflects the new relationship between workers and employers as the labor market evolves.”
In the fall, JFF and JPMorgan Chase will host a series of events for corporate leaders to discuss talent strategies that provide economic value for businesses while spurring economic mobility for workers. For more information about the initiative, visit JFF’s Corporate Action Platform webpage.