- Boeing will spend $100 million on new workforce development programs, the company announced, as part of its promise to invest $300 million in an employee gift-match programs and its charitable giving focus on education, the community, and veterans and military personnel.
- Boeing crowdsourced employees to find out how it should invest the money for learning and development. Heidi Capozzi, Boeing senior vice president of HR, said the company received more than 40,000 ideas from workers across the globe. Improving digital literacy is a top priority for the company, as well as understanding what trends will impact future jobs within the manufacturing industry.
- As part of the new programs, Boeing announced it will partner with Degreed to provide access to online courses and degree programs.
As the struggle to find and hire skilled workers continues, employers are proactively developing the kind of employees they want through education and training. Companies are partnering with community colleges, higher educational institutions and tech companies to prepare workers for in-demand jobs — and overcome an increasingly tight talent market. Unemployment continues to shrink, now under 4%.
The importance of development shouldn't be discounted, as both retention tool and buffer for future tech disruptions. Myriad studies show that employees place a high premium on opportunities for career growth, with many willing to leave their current employers for development options elsewhere. Employers need to educate and train their own workforces to close the skills gap in a tight labor market as well as remain competitive.
Boeing joins several other companies that have also expanded their development opportunities. Walmart, for example, just announced a returnship program that helps workers who have been out on caregiver leave become re-acclimated into the workforce through training. Investing in employees and creating a culture of development can potentially increase engagement, retention and productivity — as well as future proof the company against coming disruption.