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tv   Washington Post Discussion on Next Generation Jobs  CSPAN  December 26, 2018 2:02pm-3:51pm EST

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exploring the history, tradition, and roles of this american institution. premieres wednesday, january 2 at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. be sure to go online on to learn more about the program and watch original interviews with senators. view farewell speeches from long-standing members, and take a tour inside the senate chamber. a conversation on the so-called economy, independent and short-term contract workers. we will hear from journalists, tech company entrepreneurs and later to senators.
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well, thank you so much for all being here today. i am the anchor of the post technology 202 newsletter and we have a great panel today on the future of work and the gig economy's role in that future. we have the head of public policy for the organization as well as the ceo of handy. maybe just to kick things off as we talk about the gig economy and the future of on-demand work, can you tell us a little bit about your company's and their role in that? >> we started handy six years ago with the view that the way people buy and sell services was broken. you think about how difficult it is to get someone
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to clean your home or to mount a tv on a wall or to fix a plumbing problem, and you go through so much of a clunky experience when you are trying to figure out who you should trust, how you can get someone there on time, if they will charge too much, charge you a really, only accept cash or accept credit cards, and what you don't realize a lot of the time is there is someone on the other side of it going through exactly the same thing in reverse, china figure out if they show up on a job, will they get paid, should they advertise on a particular platform. we wanted to solve that problem so that buyers and sellers of home services, which most people eventually become buyers of home services, if they are renters or owners, could have a great experience. we stumbled into the problem of how we people engage in work. we started handy to solve that problem.
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>> really interesting. i think a lot of of people are familiar with on-demand food delivery businesses, but can you talk about how postmate delivers from >> our three cofounders started the application with the simple idea that extended way beyond food. it was actually outside of new york city, in much of america, you cannot get items from a retail storefront delivered to your house, maybe except for pizza. in the last seven years, our company has grown to be able to service 550 u.s. cities, covering 60% of u.s. households by networking or creating a network of 350,000 hostmate's or the couriers that make the deliveries. this has not just allowed you to get your burrito delivered on a lazy sunday but given local businesses and local merchants a chance to compete in 21st century e-commerce. all too often, when we think about
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getting goods on demand, we think about an amazon-like model. we all use it, it's hyper convenient, but when you build a distribution center in a warehouse, it shortchanges the ability or even the incentive for you or i to go to a local hardware store to get those lightbulbs or go to a local pharmacy to get health and wellness products. what we done is indexed the offerings of the city, treated the city as the warehouse and giving each of those storefronts the tools they need to distribute their goods, and that extends the on food, creates from products like starbucks to apple to even just items from your cvs. in 2017, what we found was that of those retail sales, compared to those that did not use on-demand technologies, they saw 3.7 or approximately four x growth over time so they are able to compete on a more level playing field.
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>> over the last decade or so since we saw over -- uber and lyft come on the scene, there has been an explosion of so-called compete on a more level playing field. over the "uber for x" companies, but recently, the group has contracted a little bit. we have seen consolidation among these companies. how have your companies then able to remain independent in such a competitive and hot sector? >> i think the "uber for x" model was applied to lots of things that did not necessarily make sense. something works in a particular category, a lot a lot of money goes to it, so we say what don't we try that in, like, 15 or 200 other categories. i think where it has worked is where we have taken a step back and said what is actually the
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pain point we are solving in the industry? is it booking, convenience, matching supply and demand? in our cases, we have said this is actually the problem we are solving. we are solving the problem of matching supply and demand and not doing it in an instantaneous way. you largely do not need a handyman or cleaner immediately. a lot of the bookers are much further out, but it still requires a much more streamlined booking flow. if it's background checks, payment processing, all the things that go into making sure the experience works, in those cases, this is what makes a lot of sense. >> there is often an assumption when we talk about the convenience economy that it is a one-to-one transaction between two of players. i mentioned
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earlier the almost 300,000 merchants we have selling on our platform. last year, they sold about $1.2 billion worth of goods. instead of it being seen as the customer getting an item delivered by the postmate dropping it off at their house, it is important we recognize and champion the very material player that has an impact on our community, the third leg of the stool, which is the local merchant. if we talk about the on-demand economy, it extends the on one household name is applied to another because it means a tech that form does not just have to be a tech platform you and i use in terms of firing up an app. it can be a force for good in that community helping retailers compete with the global headwinds the retail sector is facing overall. >> i want to talk a little bit about the general impact we have seen from the gig economy on work in recent years. what are some of the things that have
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surprised you about how these on-demand jobs have changed the nature of work in recent years? >> i think in the beginning, there was this perception that gig work was going to take over from other work. there was an argument that was made that through time, the volume of work done by folks in the gig economy would go up. we have seen the opposite -- well, not quite the opposite, but we have seen it stay flat. i think that was an early -- i don't know if it was a misconception but an early untruth that we were going to see this explosion in the number of people coming into the gig economy and gradually moving to the gig economy for full-time work. we've seen folks work between 10 to 15 hours a week as supplemental income or work around their family lives. that is a typical engagement with handy. i don't know if that is
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true for uber or l their family lives. that is a typical engagement with handy. i don't know if that is true for uber or lyft or others, but it has stayed exactly that way for handy for a long time. >> it is a really good plan. their origin of big reactions are surprises i've seen. one is on the data point. if you look at mckinsey's evaluation of how many independent workers are out there, it was a 25%. into his head about 34% of tax filings -- into it -- intuit said about 34% of tax filings were freelancers. you have different data points, different measures, and i think the first thing we need to do in terms of understanding who we are talking about their is if congress could authorize an annualized study so we know if there is not share of americans choosing to work this way, then we need to be mindful of who we
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are talking about when we talk about broader things like benefits that i'm sure we will get into. the second surprise we have seen is the fact that people are choosing to earn this way, if it's big, small, or flat. last year, our platform made about $217 million and on -- earned on average $18.34 an hour, significantly higher than federal minimum wage, but i don't think we're there to pat ourselves on the back. in september, we announced a new platform called instant deposit, which means someone can make deliveries and have their pay outcome that exact same day. the rockefeller foundation, even senator harris stated that most americans cannot afford a $400 medical expense that is unexpected overnight. about $50 million have been deposited in
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to postma tes'accounts. not only do you have a lack of understanding of how many people are earning this way, but you also do not know how many are doing it as an alternative to predatory lending. it is a really important concept for us to grapple with as an economy. >> the instant deposits point i wanted to follow-up on -- is that unique to you or something other companies do aslast well? >> in terms of our peers, i know uber for example is starting to integrated. if more and more do it, i think that is a great thing. we know the easy friction in the way you get goods delivered should also apply to the easing friction in the way we access capital.
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>> we have a similar program. will cause -- we don't call it instant deposits, though maybe we should. we call it cash out now. it is interesting to think through what parts of the economy are being touched by gig work or freelance work. i think another perception was that it was all of this relatively sub-$20 an hour work. the other thing you are seeing is a lot more work happening in the gig economy at a higher price point. a lot of legal work, design work . >> you mentioned congress and the need for more data about this economy. i'm just curious, from both your perspectives, how much interest have you seen from lawmakers on this issue? we will hear from two later today, but wanted to hear from you about
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how receptive lawmakers have been to talking about the gig economy. >> we have seen a lot of bipartisan interest. senator warner and congressman hines recently previewed a bill for the next session focused on portable retirement accounts. we know the incoming chairman of the house democrats is also poised to look at the white papers the new dem caucus issued this year on different types of portability of benefits and we have even seen members putting forth bills on the republican side about taking a look at how taxes are filed and trying to simplify that over time. even the administration has asked for comment on rulemakings around health plans and retirement plans which could apply to independent workers. they have been celebrating apprenticeship models. what we're seeing at the federal level is a lot of desire
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to have a conversation on the topic, but what we will also do to monitor is what is happening -- what we will also have to do is monitor what is happening at the state level. we are all eager to try to address this topic of the future of work, not just how you balance work protections and worker voice with worker flexibility but also how you train in an era of automation. what we need to do next year as a tech company is work with lawmakers but also work with stakeholders at the regional level that we have equities in this space so we are trained to jennifer experimental solutions -- really trying to gin up experimental solutions. >> can you talk about how you are navigating this at the state and local level?
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>> there has been a lot of interest trying to get to a solution here. it was for a five years ago that interest started. uber only started 9-ish years ago. it is a little early. to try to come up with a solution immediately did not make a lot of sense. the interest needs to be in figuring out exactly what experiments, what trials we want to run so we can get to the right answer as quickly as possible. we are hopeful we will see more regulatory sandboxes. we put forward legislation in a number of places. we've been fortunate to have engagement from folks like senator warner. at a state level we have seen bills out of new york and we are hopeful we will see both labor companies and regulators and
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legislators really get involved defining what tests would want to run -- we want to run. i don't think anyone can look forward 10 years, similar to how 10 years ago, no one could have looked to now and said we will have this many people working in the gig economy earning this much for our. based on everything we have earned from the millions of people who earn money in this part of the economy, what are our hypotheses and what are the things we should test, how we create frameworks for labor, companies who work together and test those things in as safe a way as possible. >> that's a really good point. i get distracted. the concept of testing what is right is the name of the game. we have been able to work closely with organizations and labor unions, but what is at stake is this
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dichotomy between this notion of independent work and full-time work. delta between that full-time work. experiments in different states, working with labor to do that, but at the same time, understanding that it is something they are trying to get into. the onus is on us to establish partnerships with labor. there's a massive difference between the dignity of work and having a job. since we have been on the factory floor and worked in one career and one company, different incomes, different levels of productivity, and still provide for your family and leave them better off.
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>> following up on that, we have a question from twitter. i will remind everyone in our audience that you can see the questions at #booklive. can you discuss how independent contractors statuses can hinder the rights to organize? do you want to take that one? [laughter] >> sure, thanks. i think there is no perfect model for organizing. we've seen labor activity declined over the last 30, 40 years. i think, more than anything, we don't want to go out and just build a platform that serves customers. we want to build a platform that serves our customers and pros. it is
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one thing for us to survey our pros, do focus groups, et cetera it would be far more fruitful than engage with an organized group on behalf of our pros. there was proposed legislation in new york. unfortunately, it didn't work out. how can we work with labor? we have leaned in to labor multiple times before. there's a huge opportunity to not only help workers in the gig economy organized but help workers in general organize. >> i think it is a very important question. there's no doubt that labor unions have helped build the middle class. harassment protections, even the ability to have a five-day workweek,. . -- workweek,
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fullstop. what we need to do is make sure, as a tech platform, that we prioritize this voice. post mates launched something called the fleet, where we have representatives from different markets that cannot only opine on the products, seek out improvements, but also focus on the policy. part of what organizing is trying to do is create those worker protections. within the confines of our law, how do we stack benefits on top to get to the heart of what that is asking, so we have rolled out a free health savings account on is asking, so we have rolled out the open enrollment period that
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just concluded this weekend. we helped sign up over 2400 post mates for health care under obamacare that previously didn't have insurance. we want to help simplify their tax matters and we have been using department of labor funded grants through an organization so we can work on upskilling. the way the current laws are structured, we would like to do more by connecting to benefits. we need to complement -- we need to contemplate a world where we are decoupling the benefits from just full-time employment models. at the end of the day, prioritizing worker voice must be at the heart of that experimentation. what we are looking for lawmakers is the ability to experiment.
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>> can you talk about how handy is offering these things compared to what vikrum is talking about with post mates? >> we encourage folks to sign up for affordable care, flexible benefits, flexible savings account. we encourage folks to do lots of things. we have stepped short of that line we would need to cross to put handy at risk. i think it is real important that we create these frameworks for more experimentation so we can offer more faster. we know the motivation for work has become clearer and clearer in this gig economy world. people are actively trading off economics for the purpose and meaning of their work, and flexibility. flexibility is coming up again and again for why people are choosing work at handy. people
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want more flexibility, the ability to set their own hours, call off and cancel, adjust schedules. we've prioritized that above everything else. it is really important to preserve the flexibility that the intermittent -- the independent contractor status gives our folks. our pros negotiating in some cases the price they get with the homeowner. that is something that falls out of the realm of employee engagement. it is important we preserve that and yet preserve a structure so we can test more things faster. quite sorry that i misspoke before and said employees and set of contractors. i want to be careful about that distinction. with that point on contractors and kind of walking that line within the existing law, how much pressure are you wonder to offer these new forms of bet --
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are you under to offer these new forms of benefits? >> i actually don't know if i would characterize it as pressure. postmates, i joined about a year and a half ago to try to figure out how we take stock of our responsibility of that fleet of 250,000 postmates. we know lots of them are using it to earn. we know about 50% of them are on the app about three to five hours a week. we know 40% of them are looking for other forms of work. you think about the marketer who has a client and hops on the platform until he or she gets that next client. for us, we see it as, how do we stack on additional resources, tools, that can help them fulfill their broader scope and reach in life as opposed to just seeing this as a competitive advantage. i will
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admit that, at this point in time where you have different workers seeking opportunities in different places, what it really means is that we are at a time in america where there is wage stagnation, consolidation of wealth among a few, skyrocketing health care costs. what we really need to do is take stock, as a private sector company, how can we do right by that workforce and do so within the confines of the law. that is about investing in our postmates as opposed to some competitive edge. >> when you are doing business in people's homes, there is an extra quality assurance that comes along with that. i've read about the fees that handy introduced in an article. can you talk to us a little bit
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about those fees and how you use that to ensure that workers are showing up and doing high-quality work on their jobs? >> when you think about the typical transaction on handy, it is in someone's home. how do we make an experience for the customer where they have decided to stay home, let a professional in, take time off work, set aside a saturday, saying i will be home at a certain time to let somebody in and ask them to mount a tv on a wall, fix a plumbing problem. it is really important that the pro shows up on time. similarly, what we have got is a situation where the pro says, hey, i'm going to block a certain amount of time to go to the customer's home. it is important that the customer shows up and lets me in. on both sides of our platform, we have incentives and disincentives. if the customer cancels at the last minute 30 minutes before a
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booking, we are going to charge that customer and compensate the pro. same if the pro at the last minute doesn't show up to do the job. when you go back to the same customer again and again, there is the opposite, extra bonus incentives for making the customer really happy. it is an incredibly complicated marketplace that has a lot going on across logistics, customer behavior, pro behavior, customer safety. we have to make sure we have the right incentives in place to make the marketplace work. >> the other incentive we see companies using his search pricing to drive contractors in -- surge pricing to drive contractors in high demand times. have you introduced fees or anything of that nature for your fleet? >> in terms of the customer side
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of the equation, we have a tool called postmates unlimited, which allows you to get unlimited deliveries above $15 or more for just seven dollars 99 a month. on the fleet end, to encourage postmates to go out there. we do use dynamic pricing. i think that is important. the way our economics work is a very demand elastic model. more merchants that we put on the platform, whether it is food, pharmacy, a hardware store , the more customer demand we get and therefore the more fleet we need to fulfill that. the model creates that pull and tug in real time. economics works because we are able to incentivize different deals both on the customer side. on super bowl sunday, there's high demand. on tuesday morning, when
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people are may be at their offices, there might be another way to incentivize people to make sure we create that coverage. demand elastic pricing allows us to focus on customer needs but that goes back to the core point of why that flexibility is so vital. your reliability to get a ride from dca is because of that lyft ride being able to be there because we are not setting those shifts in advance. to your point earlier, the flexibility is part of our model and that is how we price around it as well. >> i want to make sure we talk about another major trend in the future of work, automation. how do you think automation is going to impact the future of the gig economy? do you maybe want to take that first since postmates introduced the autonomous delivery robot?
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>> last week, we introduced a new member of our fleet, and autonomous delivery device that travels on sidewalks and was really designed to have socially aware navigation. we are testing in senior citizen communities to make sure it can yield and navigate those who might have disability or mobility issues. we are working with cities to make sure we develop a framework that protects the right of way. really, what this is supposed to do for us is pursue a way in which we are augmenting the fleet, not supplanting it in any way. we think that is an interesting way to fulfill deliveries that might be at a relatively short distance. if we want things delivered from across the street, a postmate could bring it to us but -- that being said, we have two responsibilities. one, to make sure we are doing so in a
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responsible way. the prospect of robotics is really only as scary as we the human creators are choosing to wield it. to make sure we are designing it from the wheels up with that in mind, that is something that we are committed to. the second is around the workforce training program. for us to be able to create this new class of jobs has allowed us to work with organizations like swords to plowshares to recruit veterans who are attuned at operating robotics. if you try to upscale -- upscale and create the curriculum around that, we can move into automation without jettisoning the notion of the dignity of work. >> how do you think automation is changing on-demand work in the home?
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>> i think work in the home is probably a fortunate category in that it is at the tail end of automation. along with eldercare, it is going to be truly, truly hard when you are repairing something in your home, carrying out work in an environment where the nuances of how to clean something, prepare something, and melt something, how to structure somebody's home, is very specific. i think it's an area where we are going to see more growth in manual work. i think there is augmentation that is going to happen, some technologies that will make it easier and easier to upskill people to repair complicated things, but i don't see it as a replacement of work done in the home over the next decades. >> i want to thank our guests for being here. [applause]
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>> good morning, everyone. on the national labor reporter here at the washington post. we can't have a future of work without workers so i'm very pleased to introduce two experts focused on workforce development at a time when our jobs are so rapidly changing by technology. we have the assistant director at m.i.t.'s washington office where he coordinates the mission with federal agencies in congress. liz is the ceo of a platform
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that connects early career candidates with employers. let's start with liz. way up, amazing platform, it has millions of users. how does it work and where did you get the idea? >> nice to meet you guys, i'm one of the two cofounders along with my co-founder, jj. we met at the university of pennsylvania. from a candidate perspective, we saw just how frustrating the job search was. when you are a sophomore, you are expected to get an internship, which leads to your junior internship, which is expected to lead to your full-time job after you graduate. when you are a sophomore, junior, sometimes even a senior, you have no idea what these jobs mean. i applied to a job in private equity having no idea what private equity was. i went and applied
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for an internship in marketing and thought marketing was just making tv commercials. there wasn't this transparency into what somebody does on the job, what makes one company special versus another. on the employer side, i found that employers were relying on flying out to career fairs. jj and i decided to leave our jobs after a few years. we started wayup. we connect right now about 5 million, but growing users, 5 million early career candidates, most of whom are in college, just under half of whom have recently graduated in the last three years, and we connect them with employers who are looking to hire them for internships, full-time jobs, part-time jobs. >> one thing, before you move on, i hear from employers all
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the time that it is so hard to find workers to fill those vacancies. unemployment right now is at a 49 year low. how often are you hearing from employers about what they are looking for? >> we are from some employers that they get too many applicants and how do we find the quality or diversity? they end up hiring so many referrals that there are so few spots left for new types of candidates to apply or get hired. more often than not, we are having two types. this is probably a little more frequent with college. we were talking a little bit backstage, how do we get candidates to develop skills through the interview process. on the flipside, there are some very niche jobs, and they just don't know where to find it. often, the biggest problem, you are looking at only five
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schools. if you start looking at all the schools in the country -- our users represent 600 schools. -- 6600 schools. >> philip, you address workforce development by fostering relationships between schools and government agencies. tell us more about that and how you are preparing people for jobs that don't even exist yet. >> there is two big initiatives at m.i.t. that connect into this. the one, the older one, the little more mature one, has to do with advanced manufacturing. m.i.t. was one of the universities tasked during the obama administration along with a bunch of half universities, half companies, to look at the future of
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manufacturing and what we needed to do to get high skilled manufacturing jobs back and retain them in the u.s. that is a program that led to the creation of 14 so-called manufacturing usa institutes, which the trump administration has continued for the most part to support. the existing ones are getting up to speed and some of them manufacturing usa are going pretty strong. we have both worked on the overall design of that program, and also had some deep involvement in a couple of the specific institutes. you are talking about training people for new jobs. one of the institute that i've done the most work with, m.i.t. has the educational lead for the obscure area of manufacturing called integrated photonics. if you have seen
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pictures of automated vehicles being tested by google, uber, various companies, they have these big things on their roof, arrays of sensors that help the cars no where the -- where it is. if you want to get those sensors down in cost and size to where they can be put into every car, they are going to need to be not separate packages of optical and electronic devices, but packages in which those things are integrated into much smaller and denser things. there are uses of this and many other areas, but that is a good way to think about it. this is one of the areas in which one of these advanced manufacturing institutes was created. many industry partners, many academic partners, but m.i.t. has the lead education role, coordinating educational activities not just what we do, but with community colleges in the area. the foundry is in albany. cars are being built from cambridge to albany and beyond to rochester, which is an historic area of great strength
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in optics. there's a story that's been floating around recently about a student, for example, went to a community college in central massachusetts, his name is sean, he got a two-year degree in electrical engineering technology. he got an internship to work at m.i.t. lincoln labs, spent a summer working there with the people who are just starting in this area. he is now continuing to work and study for a four year degree at university of massachusetts at lowell. this is really fascinating from several ways. first of all, we
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have a deep industry involvement, looking at the roadmap and trying to figure out where the jobs are going to be needed as this industry emerges. this is a very detailed roadmap. what kind of products they will need, when, who is going to do which parts of it. we are trying to get them to think about what the new jobs are. some of those jobs are designed jobs, new skills they need to teach to their engineers, phd, masters level engineers. some of them are technician jobs with the people who will have to do packaging, validation, maybe assembly. so that makes us interact with these community colleges and other smaller four-year institutions in our area and in a pretty new way for us. it is pretty interesting. >> that is interesting. i think
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you both can weigh in on this next question. you spoke of manufacturing jobs that you wouldn't really think require much of what you -- what is known as soft skills. communication, the ability to get along with others. but we are hearing from employers that they want people who have the qualities they can't automate. how do you foster those soft skills? >> we recently were doing an analysis and it was pretty similar to other external studies we read, where 16% of candidates were failing interviews for soft skills reasons. things like when you hop on the phone, how are you answering the phone? did you answer the phone, "what's up?" are you answering the phone, "hi, this is liz?" is there a baby crying? 25% or 26% of college students or parents. if your baby is screaming in the
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background and you have an interview, often an employer may look at that and say, they are babysitting someone's baby? a lot of it is around communication. what we are doing at wayup, it is the only company i know of that is doing this. something we saw, we have been doing it for about a year, something we saw was that employers would -- it kind of makes sense when you think about it -- they would get 1000 candidates. one of our employers got 15,000 applicants for 75 internship positions. they said -- they hire a lot of m.i.t. students and so on. they said, we want to interview all of these candidates but, first of all, we know that historically, referrals have always gotten
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through first-hand referrals are likely to be underrepresented minorities. you are less likely to know somebody from that company or industry. there were going through referrals, then career fair candidates. more candidates they met at career fairs were men and this is already a male-heavy company. they said, how do we get everyone at the top to get interviewed? they said, what if we do your first round interviews and we never fail someone for soft skills reasons, we only fail them if they get the answers wrong for questions you tell us what the right or wrong answer is. then, even if they totally bombed on soft skills, we are going to send them the email with customized feedback on their soft skills. we did that for several different clients. what is so
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exciting is that we are seeing the number of black and hispanic candidates or women in tech going way up to get to the final round. they are getting told early on, hey, this is something you need to work on. it is not that they want to work on it, but it is that no one ever told them. >> you are saying millennials are responding to feedback well? [laughter] i know you have thoughts on this and how bias might play a role. >> bias is an interesting question. whenever you come up with numbers like 50% fail, you want to make sure you are measuring the right thing. i saw recently that soft skills have started to be used in some of the international assessments across countries in mathematics and science. i hadn't known that. i would love to really look into that and see how they are correcting for cultural differences and things like that. the main thing, it is
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really fascinating to hear what they are doing about it. i just want to expand on it and say it is mostly about the soft skills getting you into the job. the reason that people care about it getting into the job, part of it may just be that you make a bad impression. most of it, you need soft skills in the job these days for any job. we certainly hear that when we do these sessions with companies that are, as i said before, roadmapping new industries. you ask them what skills they need, they often, the first things they write down or not specific technical skills. let's be very clear, i'm talking about stem jobs. engineering jobs are jobs for engineering companies, supporting them. they often tart -- they often start talking about soft skills. part of it is
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the appearance, but part of it is deeper communication skills, the ability to write, the ability to tell people either in words, either verbally or in writing, that is meaningful for them to do their part of it. teamwork, collaboration, is a huge thing. the workforce has changed in those types of ways. the work environment has changed. there's much more teeming. much more is done between companies rather than integrated companies. all of those things drive you in the direction of many people at many different levels. a company or a manufacturing stream across different companies have to be able to work together much more than they used to.
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it is not surprising that we are seeing companies, mainly larger companies, investing in training programs. it is not just the hard skills of, this is how you enter your time, it is what we define as collaboration. here's how to go to your manager about a problem. >> it is great to hear that companies are reinvesting in that stuff. what we tend to hear on the technical side is that companies used to be able to do internal training on technical issues and less and less of them have done over the last probably 15 years or more. >> if you look at i think the 12 largest employers of entry-level candidates, they are substantially investing more year over year skills. i think,
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by the way, when we asked them why, part of it is to be able to attract more of the types of candidates so that people in different backgrounds who don't all speak the same or look the same can adopt. >> from the education perspective, the question is, how do we get this training into the education system. i guess what i would say is that we are going beyond the traditional approach where a college or university would say, you have your major, you have to learn a lot in this area, and we want you to take a few courses and other things to learn about stuff. there is certainly still some of that. i like the model the national science foundation uses, which is that we are trying to train people with a set of skills that looks like a t, with vertical part of the t as deep expertise in some area in the top bar is these skills that you need to be able to
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connect to other areas. that is not just about making them take a mix of courses. it is about changing the way that some of the work is done in courses, in the experiential learning, on or off campus, whether internships like you guys work with thor liz:extracurriculars. >> classroom models. 80-plus percent participate in research opportunities. you learn how to take directions from people, how to partner, as opposed to the model of -- we still have very strong honor codes but we change the way we talk about, it's your work, don't talk to anybody about it. talk when you are doing homework, then write it up
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yourself, and don't talk on the tests. it is really, it is permeating through the classrooms, not just the extracurricular activities. >> how do you extend this learning and training over time? we already know technology is changing things seemingly every day. how can young workers prepared to stay relevant throughout their careers? >> one really exciting area i am fascinated by his online education. one of my friends started an amazing company. it teaches you how to code online. i wanted to learn sql so for free, i started to take classes online. i will be interested to see if there are more soft skills related online courses. the ones i see are more specific to hard skills. what manager
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hasn't said to their team member, you have to get better at giving feedback? that early career employee can go online and take a whole course in it, maybe have an interactive component. >> the question of whether or not you can find that stuff online is a really interesting one. m.i.t. has been very interest -- very involved in the online education movement. we cofounded one of the major providers of online courses. the nonprofit that runs it is a co-project of m.i.t. and harvard. one of the things that people always try to do in those settings, people who are deeply entrenched in learning theory and modern work on education research, is to create some of these social interactions in the
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online classes. it's really hard. i would say that it is going really slowly. creating online learning communities is going more slowly than other aspects. quite i will be fascinated to see what universities do. what class do i wish had been taught at penn? i said, adult and 101. i had no idea what a 401k is, had no idea how to do my taxes. fortunately, i had people around me who could help me learn these things. there's a hot -- there is an entire soft skills component about feedback and so on. i would hope universities would start investing in it especially because they want to build their placement rate for students getting jobs. this has historically been on the shoulders of, at least two outsiders, it has been on the shoulders of career services.
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there is one career service professional for every several thousand students. >> you both are gatekeepers for opportunities in different ways. when you work for technology or build technology, the chance of discrimination within those algorithms? >> we are really excited about -- two thirds of our user base are female and many are black and hispanic, so we work with a diverse pool. there is no science, it is completely blind to race and gender, even to experience because we see people are more likely to get experience if you are not an underrepresented minority in a specific industry. we work with
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a client in the cosmetics industry that has a desire to get more men at their company because it is almost all women. underrepresented minorities, and all shapes and forms. one thing i would say, it is all about providing data to employers. i will give you a sad story. one of the largest employers in the country, i think it is a fortune 50, we were able to show them, we get all of the hiring data. sometimes, if we are not involved in that recruiting process or interviewing process, we will not see what happens in the middle. at the end of recruiting season, we said, we sent you this many, this percentage of black and hispanic candidates, this percentage of women in tech, et cetera, then send us your data. it went from like 36% of applicants who were black and hispanic all the way
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down to less than 10% of them being hired. when we showed them that data, they immediately told us to stop, they didn't want to see it, and they moved on with the conversation. for everyone's sad story, i -- for every one cent story, i probably have 10 happy ones. 1.i will make is that there are certain companies that make it so you apply for a job and immediately get an assessment sent to you. it is supposed to be completely unbiased. a lot of our customers use those assessments and are turning off of them because even though the assessment companies guarantee no bias, they are still seeing that underrepresented minorities are not getting through at the same rate. even amazon had that famous kind of study that came out a few months ago where they had professionals within amazon build an assessment that they thought didn't have any bias. low and behold, even they
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couldn't remove the bias. >> sounds like a challenge that is ongoing. how does m.i.t. deal with this? >> let me talk on two ends of the spectrum. on the workforce side, i have less interaction with the actual m.i.t. getting jobs. these manufacturing institutes i was talking about, because we are doing more work with community colleges and regional four-year colleges -- i should say, it is very important with the program i talked about before, that the state of massachusetts has been a great partner for this and has put money in, for example, developing test labs at m.i.t..
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labs have given money to put together a facility with the same equipment so their students can learn to do the things that are developed at m.i.t. in terms of test procedures. the idea that that will be used as an industry training site and certification site, some of these new areas, the certificates don't exist yet. that is a really interesting kind of new thing for us. from the point of view of getting students in to colleges like m.i.t., first of all, we are pretty lucky that if the students get in, we can be blind in our admissions policies. there is unfortunately a diminishing number of schools that can say that. those who are in that category are trying really hard to stay there. however, there are not enough people applying. there are not enough people who,
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from diverse backgrounds with the possible exception of international students for whom we get more applicants then we can take. there are not enough students who think maybe they could do it. there is large groups of students for whom they understand the value of going to college, understand the value that it would give them in terms of lifelong earnings, but they don't think about going somewhere other than the closest college. there is an outreach effort that certainly we do, that all of our major partners and competitors in the education system are also trying to figure out how to do better, to find people who we think can succeed in our colleges and just get them to apply. once they are there, they may need some more support services. they are not different from the
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kinds of support services we try to make available to all students. it is more knowing that some students need to be watched a little bit more at the beginning. liz: that is awesome. danielle: absolutely. we have about three minutes left, and a question from the audience. someone tweeted, is state policy or federal policy better at fostering relationships between employers and universities in creating job readiness? liz: i've never thought about that. do you have a strong opinion? i don't actually think i have an informed enough opinion to share. philip: i can't say better or worse. i will say different in that they are both needed. federal policy generally tends not to want to pick particular industries. support particular industries at the expense of others. it tends to more broadly say --
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let's take this example of manufacturing, we want to promote manufacturing everywhere. states are very willing to say, we want that industry here, we are going to give them incentives to do it here. we are going to give money to our state colleges to develop new training programs and things like that. they have different roles. hopefully those roles are well coordinated and there's a good handoff. to a certain extent, the universities have a role in making sure that happens is and helping to find the right support whether it is from the local, state, or federal side. liz: i will say, this is deafly -- it is not answering the question, but it is relevant. this is definitely not pointing to the m.i.t.'s, penn's, stanfords of the world, but the
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non-top 200, 300, 500 schools, top schools, more and more employers are telling us, we are not relying on universities anymore for anything when it comes to this training. we know, if we are recruiting from a school that is not on this list, we should just expect to invest a little more in the training at the upfront, or be more open to recruiting people that are less obvious of a match. and that is ok. we know after the first six months, we will get them to be on par with some of their peers. it does bring up universities in general were a lot of people are saying, we are not expecting too much of them, again, with the exception of the top 500. it doesn't look like that much. danielle: i am hearing from you guys that there is a confidence
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gap among certain hires? it sounds like employers who look to you both for new hires are kind of desperate in this moment for people they can shape and mold for these future jobs. what would you tell job seekers today? what kind of pep talks would you give? liz: we are constantly telling people that you should apply for more jobs than you might necessarily -- especially if you are in college, you are one of 15,000 applicants for 75 positions. some schools, i have heard them tell people to apply for just three or four jobs and focus on those, but you are very unlikely to get one of your top jobs and we can see that statistically. if you weren't in the first 1000, your application might never be seen. we tell people, it is something like 2% of applications are ever resulting in an interview.
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that is in the u.s. across the board, all areas of expertise. that is not necessarily because of people being unqualified, but because recruiters don't have a chance to look at all the resumes. number one, apply for more than you think. number two, when it comes to studying, we are constantly telling candidates, outside of these professions -- if you want to work in these professions, you better major in something relevant. if you want to be a doctor, you shouldn't major in english or at lease to be prepared to go to med school. what i will say is, we are telling students, employers are becoming more and more willing to hire people of all types of majors and backgrounds. w non-finance, non-engineering majors. that is growing in popularity. study something you're passionate about. i could go on and on but we only have a minute left. i will not keep going.
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but those are two of them. danielle: in 46 seconds? philip: i let liz handle how do you get your resume read part. i will maybe say something about once you are in there, you get that first interview. from us,have heard it's people do not go into jobs with all of the skills they need to stay in the job. be prepared to talk about the skills you have that are relevant for the job. and please, do research on what the company actually does. it is amazing how many people don't do that. also be prepared to talk about the things that you want to learn in the future and the things that you are interested in that you don't know how to do yet that you hope you will learn there or you hope they will be willing to help you learn as you go on as they grow, you want to grow with them in new directions. danielle: that is really good advice. thank you, everyone for attending. next up is senator young and my colleague, heather long. [applause]
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>> we had a chat. >> > where would you like me? >> why don't you sit here, senator young? we are off to a great start. good morning, i'm heather long, and economics correspondent here at the washington post. i'm honored to be joined by senator todd young of indiana. i recommend you follow him on instagram where you will learn that he can still do 18 pull-ups, even in a suit. one of those recent posts on instagram. we will also be joined shortly by senator angus king of maine. i recommend checking out his instagram. he recently posted him raking leaves where he said it is nice to take on a task where you can
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actually see tangible results. [laughter] heather: a little bit of political commentary on instagram. i would like to remind our audience that you can tweet questions to our candidates using #postlive. we will start with some breaking news questions and then move into the meat of the conversation about jobs and the future of work. which i know you have been heavily involved in. the big news of the day is obviously these two reports that have come out talking about russia's disinformation campaign or election and the democratic process in this country. are you confident that the outcome of the 2018 midterm election, that they were not impacted by a russian disinformation campaign? senator young: i've read some open-source articles this morning proceeding this event with the understanding that this might come up.
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let me just say that i've been highly impressed with mark warner's work with chairman berger on this matter on the intelligence committee. at a time when there is much talk about tribalism and partisanship on issues of national security and electoral integrity, it is good to know that folks are coming together. with respect to my confidence, my preference would be to review the report and consult with colleagues before i opine further. i do know that election integrity is something that every member of the united states senate is taking seriously, and i have a sense that people are prepared to score political points on this, which is really refreshing that we maintain the level of comity and statesmanship. this comes down to national security. heather: there's the two reports. i know we are all still making our way through them.
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most of us. what comes across is this warning that it is still ongoing, that it wasn't just once and done in 2016. in your state, a lot of battleground elections, what do you need to do? senator young: i guess my message would be that we have to remain vigilant. someone who was an intelligence officer in the marine corps, i know that the history of battle is meeting measures with countermeasures. we have to come up with some mechanism to make sure no one infiltrates our election or influences our electorate in an improper fashion. there will be some way invariably around that and we are going to have to just stay eternally vigilant to make sure our elections are secure. i think this is the new normal. it is not just russia. there will be other countries
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that will look to do this. there are other countries that have try to insinuate themselves into our electoral process. even in the united states, if you look at the past decades retrospectively, we have involved ourselves in others' elections. the united states, a republican democracy, does all we can to make sure people have faith that when they touch the screen, their vote not only counts but it counts for the candidate they intended to vote for. also, they shouldn't go into the voting booth under a misimpression about candidates positions or so forth. it is becoming more complicated in this digitized world where we rely on so many different news sources and often times their
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-- there are unnamed sources for particular articles. i think even the media is struggling to adapt to this new normal so that people can rely on the news they receive. heather: i am glad you brought that up. you obviously use instagram as we were joking about earlier. i think that is something that surprised people in the report, that they thought it was on facebook and twitter, but there were more posts happening on instagram. do we need to regulate social media more? sen. young: perhaps. it is a debate we ought to have. many of us are trying to figure out exactly what that would look like. the business model of many of the social media platforms is kind of a volume-based business
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model that relies on advertisement and so forth. the business model of many of the largest and most subscribed to platforms could be ruined to the detriment of all that benefit from these platforms if we aren't very careful in working with them to accommodate the needs of users who get real value out of social media on one hand but also make sure we are not undermining our entire democracy in the first place. i don't sit here today as i talk about the gig economy in the workforce pretending to have all the answers. but i am a member of the commerce committee. we have started to hold hearings with respect to this issue. i know that silicon valley is increasingly trying to get out in front of this, taking it seriously. knowing that if they don't come with solutions in a box for
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members of congress with respect to a new regulatory atmosphere, we will have to come up with new solutions independent of their thoughtful expectations. -- recommendations. we don't want to have collateral damage, but we may have to sort of find our way moving forward to protect our democracy. that is the best answer i can give you now. here again, i would just indicate that republicans and democrats see this issue the same way, which is really helpful when it comes to getting things done. we are just relying on subject matter experts from the intelligence community to those who designed these platforms and members of the media to help us figure out the proper balance. heather: i'm glad you said that about the bipartisan agreement that this is a real problem.
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some of my colleagues at the post were calling a bunch of republicans today and only senator richard burr, a republican from north carolina who chairs the intelligence committee, he was the only republican that spoke out and issued a statement yesterday. i think people were a little surprised not to see more bipartisan concern and maybe condemnation of what has been revealed by these reports in the intelligence community. why don't you think more republicans are speaking out? senator young: my understanding is these reports referenced russia. that is where the focus of these reports was. you can correct me if that is incorrect, not having read them. news reports indicated that they invoked russia. this administration has been incredibly vigilant with respect to russia from sanctions to heavy weaponry in ukraine, to responding in kind in the cyber
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realm, to making sure that they check russian expansionism in the middle east. if vladimir putin thought that this administration was going to be friendly to russia on various fronts, he has been disabused of that. congress has worked in a bipartisan way. i can say that as a member of the senate foreign relations committee, to also apply pressure to russia. with respect to public statements, when the report was released, i think it is common practice for a chairman and ranking member to speak about a public report. thereafter, it wouldn't surprise me if we had members of the intel community issuing their own statements. i'm not aware of any space that exists between your r members and d members, and you might include an i member as well as senator king shows up.
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wow. what timing. heather: you just heard your name. welcome to the washington post. senator king: good to see you. thank you for inviting me. heather: senator young, we've been pounding him on the new reports. sen. young: really not. i'm eager to discuss this at greater length after reading that one article. i'm just teasing of course. i know the spirit of my response to these reports coming out is consistent. i would be surprised if we are not consistent with your possession. what is your -- sen. king: i thought we were on the gig economy. we are on the gig economy for russians. [laughter] we both got gigged on
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this. let's hope putin is a member of the workforce. senator king, two quick questions or you have read these reports spirit you are on the intelligence committee. what are you going to do about this? the questionat was i was afraid you were going to ask. first, the reports are very powerful and i think underline we have been saying for years -- for a year and a half. sen. young: you have read them? sen. king: i have read about two thirds. i was flying down yesterday on the plane. had to hold my phone sideways. the data is pretty overwhelming. the number was 130 million americans at least were affected by this. it's a difficult question to do because we are a free society. the russians are improving their tradecraft in the sense that in own theey created their
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terrio. their own websites. their own room or -- members. and all of that. now what they are doing is more amplifying things that are already out there. somebody in america publishes an outrageous conspiracy theory and they amplify it an increase in. -- and increase it. use the bots to make a trend. what you do about that it's very difficult. it's not like we can cut off people on the internet that are saying outrageous things. we learned that is difficult. iis is a long way of saying do not know. i think it requires some real serious thought. what they are doing is a kind of geopolitical jiu-jitsu. remember when we learned -- jiu-jitsu was using your own strength against you and that's what they are doing. if we weren't an open society and could shut all the stuff down, but we can't. they are using the strength of our open society and first amendment free-speech to undermine the very values of the country. it's a very difficult problem to
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figure out where the line is. want to builddo on the mention of the first amendment. if we were to apply the same liable laws to one of your popular social media platforms that the washington post has to abide by, the business model of the social media platforms would absolutely fall apart because they cannot hire enough people to check every post and validate every claim. so there are different types of platforms, yet increasingly, so many americans rely on these platforms for their news. that's -- further news. sen. king: facebook doesn't know whether it is a newspaper or a back fence anyone can put a poster on. that's the dilemma. heather: i'm glad you brought up facebook. one of the things in the report that jumped out at me was it
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like the platform, facebook, twitter, youtube, may have misrepresented or even dated -- or even dated in some of their statements to congress, which was a bold thing to say in a report. are these companies doing enough to cooperate with the intelligence community and -- committee and provide what is needed? to. king: i think it is fair say that they were not at first. i think part of it is protecting their business model and they were naive. they didn't realize the extent of what was going on. they gradually have become more aggressive. there is a line in the report that says facebook is doing a much better job. i think they are trying to be on top of it. --in, it is a very difficult if a post -- it's not the ad so much that are the problem. it is the newsfeed that comes in somebody iske
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writing, have you heard, this and this happened. then it gets repeated and repeated. as a politician, this stuff is terrifying. if someone does a negative ad on tv, you can put your own ad on tv too responded. they are lying about my record. if it's something on social media, it ricochets around you and you don't get a chance to confront it. never put it to rest. it just keeps multiplying. i think the companies are doing a better job. i think facebook is taking it very seriously, to be honest. google has been a little more reluctant because youtube was a big part of what this report talks about. i think google has been slower. as you recall, we had a major intelligence committee hearing and they did not even come. they should have. heather: we will switch gears to the job sector now.
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young, when we talk about innovation, i think it's a real shame that people often don't think of the midwest. they don't think of your state as one of the first parts where we are being innovative in america. sen. young: i do too. heather: how do you make sure the industrial midwest is part of the technology revolution? rightoung: you have the senator up here to speak to that. indiana happens to be the most manufacturing intensive state in the country. there is incredible innovation and arguably more innovation occurring in the manufacturing sector than there is in the services realm. when you look at the productivity improvements and so forth. that has been incredibly disruptive but also promising in terms of the growth opportunities. your question was about how we should think about this.
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heather: how do you transition? is it enough to let the companies evolve or do you need something else? sen. young: this will be a whole of society effort. it will require government at different levels, federal state and local coming up with new models. hopefully piloting a lot of different new models whether it's related to benefits, or workforce training programs. partner with a not for profits and also the private sector and together, we are going to have to feel our way through this. this transition into a new normal, where workers prepare for jobs in k-12, maybe pursue some post secondary education, obtain a certificate, obtained -- obtain an associates degree. maybe get a bachelors degree.
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expectation will be they will undergo a series of retraining programs as well and move from one job to multiple jobs throughout their career. we -- throughout their career. this -- we are already in the middle of this transition. it's going to take a number of years. it is i can to the movement from an ad and economy to in a manufacturing economy. it is not something that was in 10 years, it took a couple generations to get everything sort of set. heather: in that transition there is also going to be probably more people that are for-- not working directly one company. maybe they are independent contractors or consultants. you really focused on that by introducing a bill with senator warner. the portable benefits for
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independent worker's pilot program. can you say about what that is unwise or just a pilot program? why aren't we ready to introduce a full bill? let me start with the easy part. the pilot program. government, for frankly generations, we have introduced , ambitious,ge expensive programs and then after a rigorous evaluation, when that happens, it does not even happen, we find out we wasted a lot of money. instead, we should take a page out of business's books and pilot different models, rigorously evaluate and scale those things that benefit american citizens in meaningful ways. that's the pilot program. this particular model is one which the federal government takes modest resources, $20 million, and offers grants to existing businesses to scale portable benefit models that are
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working into other geographies and then rigorously evaluate those scaling exercises. we can do the same things with not for profits or state and local governments. to the extent that a portable benefits model does not exist within a particular space, we can use this money to design, implement, and then evaluate said programs. i think we need to do this throughout government, not just with respect to portable benefits, but also workforce retraining. heather: ok. you have been tweeting about one of the big issues in america as we move forward is a number of people in this country still don't have good internet access. in your state. sen. king: it is a huge issue. heather: how close are we to getting there? sen. king: i want to touch on something he mentioned. the transition. of americans work
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in agriculture. that is changed. now it is 3%. it changed into budget ears. it took a long time for that to happen. we are seeing the transitions happen in years and sometimes in a month or a whole industry will go away and what happens next? broadband is the essential infrastructure of the 21st century. that is a commonplace observation. ruraloblem is, in america, it is not there. there's a rural broadband caucus in the senate started by myself and west virginia, some of the southern states, because broadband -- it is exactly what happened with electricity in the 1930's. in the 1930's, electricity first was available in dense urban areas because the houses were closer together and amid more -- and it made more sense to string the wires. the electric company said we can't do this in the farms that
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are mile apart so they did rural electrification with co-ops and those types of things. that's exactly what is happening that is what is happening today. the technology is changing so fast. the truth is rural america, it will be catastrophic if we cannot get broadband him, because they are not going to be able to participate. broadband iner, rural areas produces enormous opportunities. i have people in maine, where we have good broadband in many of our small towns, that are working all over the country. i worked into a coffee shop and people were working in boise, california, m.i.t. if you have that, you open up employment opportunities for people in rural areas that were not there before. the first piece is good broadband. think $380 bill, i
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million for broadband for theision agriculture, for farming community. a big deal. five years ago, it was $25 million. this time, it is 380. people are recognizing. heather: the need. sen. young: if i can build on something angus said with respect to the disruption and certain local or regional economies, how it often occurs in fairly short order -- this is occurring in little geographies around indiana. people are indeed struggling to adapt. .e need to scale up we need things that are working as quickly as possible. and really, experiment with new models. to put the numbers on this, within roughly a decade, by 2030, it is estimated throughout the world -- this is a broad 14%e here -- between 3% and of the global workforce are going to have to switch entire
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occupational categories. that is over a 10 year span, entire categories. if someone remains in a particular category, the nature of their job is going to change this -- significantly as well. servant,ist, a public someone who is working at a call center or a medical -- sen. king: categories are likely to change every six years. sen. young: for a medical professional. they might stay in the same job category, but the nature of their work has significantly changed. they need to have mechanisms for continuous retraining, which is already something we are going to focus on. heather: is that -- some states have started funding community college, like rhode island, where they will give people free community college for two years to help do that retraining in those states and other industrial states trying to transition. is that a model you think works? sen. young: we have the largest
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community college system in the country in the state of unit -- of indiana. it is a unified system, and it does work. heather: can people afford it? when rhode island -- the state government is actually funding for people to go and do that kind of training. sen. young: let's see how that works. everybody needs to play a role in this growing economy, where unemployment is down to 320% and workers -- and players in my state are struggling for workers. most importantly, we need to make sure that when someone pursues a program of study, which is going to pay them back, and help them pay back whatever loans that have taken out, in addition to the grants -- a, that program of study is valuable. it allows them to add a job that pays well on the backend. and b, they are able to complete the program of study. the most tragic thing i hear in my travels around the state is
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when someone pursues a program of study, encourage that, and had absolutely no certificate on the backend. sen. king: there is another aspect i think is important from a labor deployment point of view. the biggest issue i find in traveling maine and talking to people around the country right now is lack of workers. people are having a very hard time finding qualified workers. again, going back to the idea of rural broadband, work at home, this is a way of opening up a workforce that is available, and could assist with other -- eventually, the lack of workers is going to be a real drag on our economy. i know businesses are not expanding, are not growing, because they cannot in the people. heather: did you ask them how they increase weight -- have they increased wages? sen. king: i do. sometimes they say yes, sometimes no. sen. young: i bragged about manufacturing
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intensive. 85% of manufacturers say they are unable to meet customer demand or expand on account of labor shortages. sen. king: one of my favorite science was in front of a sandwich shop. "now hiring. health benefits and 401k." at a sandwich shop. that is the market working. heather: wage growth is better than it has been, but it is still weak compared to the 1990's, early 2000's. that is ongoing. sen. king: i think there is a in were alltunity areas, and you do not have to build a big factory or a big office building. have your workers dispersed into the community. it opens up an opportunity for people in rural america, but also for companies that need people. heather: right. on a scale of one to 10, for each of you, how worried are you robots,tomation --
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headlines telling us "robots are going to take my job, maybe your job someday." how worried are you about automation? is this something we should fear? sen. young: put me in the five category. i'm incredibly excited about the possibilities. within 15 years, we could increase the rate of productivity by 40%. i hear this. it comes from mckinsey global. hopefully i am citing the numbers correctly. that's great. that means more wealth for the economy, more wealth for americans to an fast in -- to invest in infrastructure other public goods -- and other public goods, like public health. but at the same time, it can lead to great disruptions within the labor force. that's the other side and we need to do our part working with not-for-profit's and for-profit companies. sen. king: and the education so people can transition. i'm less worried about than five -- i'm less worried about it even than five, because people
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have been saying automation will destroy jobs since the steam loom was invented in 1730. all of these very alarmist kind of things, there always seem to be new jobs that we didn't think about. you know 20 years ago, 25 years , ago nobody heard of web designers and all of those things. heather: right. sen. king: so i think there will be additional jobs that will come out. but the key is, here's the problem. i had a case in maine or a shoe -- where a shoe factory closed and we lost 200 jobs. the same day, one of our tech companies hired to people to do -- hired 200 people to do computer work, and they were doing insurance claims in another state. on paper we lost no people. 200 lost, 200 gained. they were not the same people. and the people who lost the shoe jobs, that's all they had done -- and they were not going to be able to pick up and go to portland and sit down and start processing claims. that is the challenge of what i call stranded workers.
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and we have to do a lot better job of providing retraining to -- providing immediate, good retraining to bring people from , as you talked about one career , to another. my grandfather worked for the southern railway for 52 years. very few people do that anymore. you have to change careers three or four times let alone jobs. as policymakers, we are flying a bit blind, i feel. we need to improve our gauges. we are told by the department of labor, and they are doing the best they can, statistically, that in 2005 there were more members of the independent workforce your gig workers and , contingent workers. heather: i am glad you brought that up. sen. young: so they had a larger percentage of workforce in 2005 within that independent workforce category than now.
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intuitively, that really seems off. for us to have confidence moving forward, as we develop policies, i think we need to optimize our data. which is a boring issue but highly important for those of us who take facts seriously. heather: i think you are right. we wrote about this. the latest labor department to -- statistics are that just 15 million americans are in the gig economy or independent contractor type work, and that is only 10% of the workforce. we were stunned. a lot of readers were stunned that it wasn't much higher. it feels like it should be closer to 25%. how quickly do you think it will grow? as you point out, it did not grow from 2005 to the latest study in 2015, 2016. sen. young: i think it has grown depending on how you measure it. the way the department asset -- assess the surveys is whether
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or not someone's occupations in -- primary earning occupation is in the independent workforce. raise your hand if you are taking uber or lyft? most of you have had some level of communication with your uber or lyft driver. you discover that this is a side job for a number of them. so they are not even included in the current numbers. heather: that is right. sen. young: you scale that over all manner of different professions and we are missing a lot of people. we have to get better at this. heather: the labor department is measuring people's primary job. lyft isor lift is -- their side job, that is not being measured in those numbers. one of the biggest risks to the workforce is if we have a downturn in the next couple of years, a lot more workers would be dislocated. the stock market has not been going in a direction many of us would like to see. what is your read? sen. king: which, by the way,
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points out -- we are talking about benefits and the gig economy, what is number one? 401(k)s, which are not doing all that well. heather: that is right. a lot of investors say they are nervous about a slowdown. maybe even a recession by 2020. what is your read when you look at the data or what you are seeing with the stock market and , your own 401(k)s and pension plans? sen. young: i don't want to talk the economy down, but if you look at historical numbers, we would be due for a downturn in the economy. we are actually past-due. so this expansion has occurred over a longer period of time than most economists would have predicted. we just need to prepare for the storm. especially while times are relatively good. i know there has been a recent dip in the stock market. that means coming up with new , portable benefit models so people can retire securely, regardless of whether they are
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in the independent workforce, in the attached workforce, traditional workforce, or some combination. the retraining models that i discussed. and i do agree, i want to embrace what angus said with respect to investment in public goods like rural broadband. really important. really important. sen. king: let me -- but todd and i have been talking recently about the deficit. and one of the problems with the current deficit is it's enormous and number two, we've used up our slack to deal with a recession, or to deal with a crisis. you know we've cut taxes during , a boom, cut taxes during war, and we have created a situation where there is no -- remember the reaction to the 2008 recession was a trillion dollar public fund to try to build things around the country, to try to stimulate the economy.
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heather: right. sen. king: i worry whether we can do that again today because we dug ourselves into such a deep hole. that is a parenthetical that worries me, that we have used up our safety net, if you will, for dealing with the risk of recession. heather: whenever it comes. sen. young: and we have failed, frankly, over generations to take seriously the predictions of actuaries related to the aging workforce and to make -- aging workforce, the increase in health care costs, and to make sustainable the largest programs of government. which we all want to do. sen. king: we are the first generation in history to inherit from our parents and borrow from our kids. heather: that is a whole mother conversation. -- another conversation. we want to close out, we are here at the "washington post" and it's important to us what happened to our colleague jamal khashoggi at the hands of the saudi government.
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you both voted in favor of resolutions recently to link the death of jamal khashoggi to the saudi crown prince. you also supported and were instrumental in making happen that resolution the senate to -- in the senate to call for a withdrawal of u.s. support for the saudis war in -- saudis' war in yemen. saudi arabia rebuked that senate resolution you supported. what is your response to the saudis? sen. young: my response is they would be better served to take responsibility and make amends and move on instead of continuing to deny the obvious. it just undermines anything else they want to do. on the other hand, i think the administration made a mistake by creating a kind of either/or. --her you will dissolve either you absolve the prince or
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you maintain a relationship with saudi arabia. i think there's something in between. i think was unfortunate the way the administration treated this initially. the congress, the the vote we took on yemen a couple of weeks ago was the first time in 45 years that house of congress as -- has actually implemented the war powers act and exercised , some control over the executive's use of the military. that's a big deal. it may not pass the house or be signed by the president but the fact that the senate asserted itself, and the saudis felt they had to respond to it, indicates the message has been received. heather: should the president condemned the crown prince? like senator king is saying? sen. young: my focus has been from beginning is to give the administration and the president maximum possible leverage to bring the saudi's into a position of better behavior. to drive them to the negotiating table and to ensure they negotiate in good faith.
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and i don't think it was a coincidence that the day the united states senate took this vote, the day it passed, was the day cease-fire arrived in sweden with respect to the conflict in yemen. so we need to continue to provide this administration the leverage they need to apply pressure to the saudi's. -- saudis. heather: do you think it makes a difference if the president does make a verbal condemnation similar to what senator king was saying? sen. young: i think each of us needs to make a verbal condemnation of the saudi behavior. i've said it unambiguously and i'm so happy the senate has spoken in a clear voice , indicating the crown prince has been reckless, impulsive, engaged in monstrous behavior -- and i think we will remain vigilant on this. in fact the law requires it. in to lawdent signed
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-- he is to be commended for it -- signed into law the national defense authorization act. part of that act with some legislation that i worked on a bipartisan way. requiring the administration to certify the good behavior as it were of saudi arabia. they certified. i was not persuaded by the certification. the good behavior some weeks ago. they will have another bite at the apple in coming weeks, and we will see where they stand. heather: thank you so much for your time. we are out of time. appreciate having you both of we -- we appreciate having you both of you here. [applause] sen. king: you are a lot better off having me here rather than warner. [laughter] [applause] heather: thanks again. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
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five new members from minnesota joined the house of representatives, including the only two republicans elected to seats previously held by democrats. the first is pete stark were in inute -- pete stauber minnesota's eighth district. he was a police officer. earlier in his career, he played professional hockey. he spoke to us about some of the lessons he learned from the sport. >> teamwork. perseverance. hard work was always the equalizer. many people never gave me a chance. hockey, but played professionally. it was through dedication and the drive to meet your goals. i was very fortunate. >> how long did you play for, professionally? >> three years. i retired due to an injury to my neck. hagedorn,er is jim
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who succeeds tim walz, who was elected minnesota governor. he is the son of former are presented of tom hagedorn and served on the congressional staff. he later worked for the treasury department. democrat angie craig is a former reporter for the commercial appeal in memphis, tennessee. she moved to minnesota to be an exciting at st. jude medical, a medical device manufacturer. she is the first openly gay person elected to congress by minnesota voters. one of the first two muslim women was elected in 2018. she succeeds keith ellison, who was elected minnesota attorney general. she became an american citizen in 2000. she worked in a variety of positions, teaching proper nutrition while being involved in state and local politics in minnesota. that activity led to her election to the minnesota house of representatives in 2016.
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democrat dean phillips was less than a year old when his father was killed in the vietnam war. his mother later married the sun of abigail van buren, known for her dear abby advice column. he is president of the phillips distilling company, which has been in his family for over a hundred years. new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. today is day five of a partial government shutdown. returnse and senate tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. eastern, and negotiations continue on the spending bill to reopen the federal government. as the debate continues, you can watch live coverage of the house on c-span, and the senate on c-span 2. the white house council of economic advisers chair, kevin hassett, today predicted a 3% economic growth rate next year. and he said federal reserve chair jerome powell's job is "100% safe."


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