The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 

Press Release

As AI Transforms the Economy, CED Provides Plan to Future-Proof Workforce


The Committee for Economic Development (CED), the public policy center of The Conference Board, has issued a new Solutions Brief, Future-Proofing the Workforce for the AI Era. It offers solutions for business and policy leaders to respond proactively to the AI transformation by equipping workers with the knowledge and tools to adapt and thrive.

The Solutions Brief—the latest in CED's Sustaining Capitalism series—comes as AI is increasingly and rapidly transforming the US economy, with the potential to make a tremendous impact on how we work, live, and innovate. As just one example, the AI revolution can help mitigate lackluster productivity growth and one of the most severe labor shortages in the country's history, driving efficiency throughout the economy.

As the Solutions Brief emphasizes, maximizing AI's potential while mitigating its risks requires a collaborative and proactive approach from policymakers, business leaders, educators, and all those with a stake in determining how this technology will reshape society.

"AI's impact on workers and the economy is simply too large—and consequential—to be ignored," said John Gardner, Vice President, Public Policy at CED. "The public and private sector must work together to build a future-proof workforce poised for success in the AI era, with the skills and adaptability to thrive in a fast-shifting economic landscape."

Key Recommendations

Navigating the transition to an AI-integrated economy will require a comprehensive and collaborative strategy from leaders across public policy, business, and education. CED's recommendations include:

Expand Future-Focused Workforce Development and Education Opportunities

  • Expand training programs and apprenticeship opportunities, leveraging public-private partnerships and private-sector guidance on in-demand skills to build local workforces.
  • Streamline the approval process to expand the Registered Apprenticeship Program.
  • Enhance STEM and computer-related educational offerings in K-12, university, and community college curricula, exploring AI-integrated education approaches for personalized learning, and strengthening students' awareness around post-secondary and career pathways.
  • Foster a growing pipeline of well-trained STEM and technology educators.
  • Increase the use and recognition of stackable credentials, modular pathways in which workers can acquire progressively advanced skills and work experience to earn stackable certifications aligned with industry needs.

Support Workers

  • Provide targeted Federal and State support to workers displaced by AI disruptions, including skill development training and employment services to open reskilling pathways and match workers to new opportunities.

Target Federal Research Funding

  • Expand Federal AI research initiatives in academic institutions through NSF, NIH, and other agencies, including research on human-complementary technology.
  • Ensure Federal investments in research and advanced manufacturing touch each region, to form new technology clusters that provide job opportunities for workers potentially displaced.

Enhance Government's AI Expertise and Capabilities

  • Establish an AI Center of Expertise to coordinate and share practices across departments, regulators, and other government officials.
  • Build AI expertise to drive government's response to AI challenges and to review and advise on how government workers use AI technology.

The Role of Business Leaders

  • Review organizational structure and workflows to strategize around future AI-enabled roles and conduct a skills gap analysis, communicating with employees across the organization during development and implementation of AI plans.
  • Invest in workers' upskilling and retraining through programs geared toward different employee groups and their specific learning needs related to future job roles.