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tv   Washington Post Discussion on Next Generation Jobs  CSPAN  December 23, 2018 2:29am-4:17am EST

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nature of work and the growth of freelancers and independent contractors. will hear from sens king and todd young. this is one hour 45 minutes. we will hear from senators angus king and todd young. this is one hour 45 minutes. [applause] >> i am kat. thank you so much for all being here today. i am the anchor of the "post ati.
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we are also joined by 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? -- your companies and their role in that, can we start with handy, and the different services you offer. we started -- >> we started handy six years ago with the view that the way people buy services is broken. to fix your phone, mount a tv, fix a plumbing problem, you go through such a clunky experience when you try to figure out who you can trust, to get somebody there on time, will they charge you fairly, will they accept credit cards? and what you don't realize a lot of the time is come at there is someone on the other side going through the same experience in reverse, where they are figuring
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out, should i advertise on a particular platform, i leads, will i get paid? handy to to build solve that problem so that buyers and sellers of home services, which most people eventually become buyers of home services, could have a great experience. we stumbled into this problem of, how do we change in how people engage in work. he dollars is spent on home services and a lot of it is spent in this really clunky way. kat: k talk about how post mates differs from competitors -- can you talk about how post mates differs from competitors? it was an idea that extended
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way beyond food. outside new york city you can't get items from a retail storefront delivered to your house except for pizza. so while in the last seven years our company has grown to service 550 u.s. cities, 60% of u.s. households, by creating a network of about three hundred 50,000 post mates, or the couriers that make the deliveries, what this has done for us is not just allow you to get your burrito delivered on a sunday, it has given local businesses and local merchants a chance to compete in e-commerce. when we think about getting goods on demand, we think of a click on a button from an amazon-like model. but when you build a distribution center or a warehouse on the outskirts of cities and then final businesses it shortchanges the ability or incentive for you and i to go to a hardware store or go to local pharmacy. what postmates has done is index
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the product offerings of the city and give each storefront the tools they need to distribute their goods for products like starbucks, apple, items from your cvs, you can get 2017 whatered and in we found is that of those retail sales, compared to those who did not use on-demand technologies, they saw growth in sales over times approximately four ask. x.approximately four kat: there has been an explosion of these so-called uber companies and it was really popular in the silicon valley, but recently that group has contracted a little bit and we have seen consolidation. beener your company's been
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able to remain competitive in ?uch a hot sector x model wasber for to lot -- was applied to a lot of things that didn't make sense. a lot of money goes to a category and it's like, when we apply that to 15 or 20 other categories. it didn't make sense. i think where it has worked is where we have taken a step back and said, what is the pain point we are solving in this industry? is it about instant booking, convenience, matching supply and demand? and where that has occurred, industries have developed a strong point of view of the problem they are solving. or ourcase
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case, we are solving simultaneously demand. you largely don't need a handyman or a cleaner immediately. a lot of the bookings are a lot farther out, but it requires a much more streamlined booking flow, whether it is background allks, payment processing, those experiences that go into making sure it works, in some cases it doesn't make a lot of sense. and there is often this assumption when we talk about the convenience economy that it is a one-on-one transaction between two players. i mentioned earlier the almost 300,000 merchants we have selling on our platform. last year, they sold about $1.2 billion worth of goods. so i think that 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.
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if we talk about the on-demand economy, it extends the on one -- extends beyond one household another,pplied to because it means that attack platform 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. kat: 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 surprised you about how these on-demand jobs have changed the nature of work in recent years? oisin: i think in the beginning, there was this perception that gig work was going to take over from other work. and there was this argument that was made that through time, the volume of work done by folks in the gig economy actually went up. we have seen the opposite -- well, not quite the opposite,
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but we have seen it stay flat. -- stay exactly flat. it has stayed premature exactly flat during the entire duration of handy, which is six years. i don't know if it was a misconception or 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 as work around 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 been exactly that way for handy for a long time. it is a really good plan. -- two big reactions or
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there are two big reactions or 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, intuit said about 34% of tax filings were freelancers. -- 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 is if congress could authorize an annualized study so we know if there is not even an increasing share but just a share of americans choosing to work this way, then we need to be mindful of who we 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 a postmates is the fact that people are choosing to earn this way, if it's big, small, or flat. last year, our platform made
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about $217 million and they 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 program called instant deposit, which means someone can sign up and be a postmate, 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. so since we launched instant deposit about $50 million have , have been deposited into postmates' accounts. not only do you have a lack of understanding of how many people are earning this way, but you also have a significant number of them who are doing it as an alternative to predatory lending. it is a really important concept for us to grapple with as an economy. kat: the instant deposits point
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i wanted to follow-up on -- is that unique to postmates? in terms of our peers, i know uber for example is starting to integrate it. 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. particularly in an era of wages stagnation where people are trying to stitch together more income. oisin: we have a similar program. 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.
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so the average handy pro earns between $17 and $18 per the hour. other thing you are seeing is a lot more work happening in the gig economy at a higher price point. so you are seeing a lot of legal work, design work happening on platforms, which are also a huge part of this gig economy. kat: 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 are going to hear from two wantedoday, but i just wanted to hear from you about how receptive lawmakers have been to talking about the gig economy. vikrum: 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
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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 for independent workers and trying to simplify , that over time. even the administration, secretary acosta 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 thursday and desire to have a national conversation, and that is something our ceo is encouraging us to do more of, but we will also have to monitor what is happening at the state level, everybody from the governor in new york to the governor in washington and the governor-elect of california, they are all eager to try to
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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 really trying to gin up experimental solutions. kat: handy is a new york company . can you talk about how you are navigating this at the state and local level? kat oisin: vikram is right. there has been a lot of interest trying to get to a solution here really, really quickly. it was for a five years ago that interest started. uber only started 9-ish years ago. it is a little early. so we are only eight or nine years in at this point to a very evolving part of the economy. to try to come up with a
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solution immediately did not make a lot of sense. i think 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 go out in new york, and we are hopeful we will see both labor companies and regulators and legislators really get involved in defining what the tests are that we want to run, what the experiments are we want to run, so that we can figure out the right answer. 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 this part of the economy,
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earning this much per hour. i think we would have gotten it all wrong. but now i think we can look forward and say 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? and how we create frameworks for labor, companies who work together and test those things in as safe a way as possible? vikrum: that's a really good point. i get distracted. the concept of testing what is right is the name of the game. at postmates we have been able to work closely with organizations and labor unions, but what is at stake is this dichotomy between this notion of independent work and full-time work. and i think in america we need to update not only our laws to reflect the modern way people are working, but we also need to look at how we minimize the delta in compensation between the full-time work and independent work. and there are ways to do that by stacking additional benefits,
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exploring different states, but also understanding that worker flexibility is something millions of americans are choosing to get into. the onus is on us to establish partnerships with labor. but we have to understand one distinct thing. there's a massive difference between the dignity of work, and the dignity of having a job. i job to us may reflect how we have worked since the new deal, or have worked on the floor in a max ring -- and a manufacturing 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. there is still dignity to that and that is what at the heart -- what is at the heart of that experimentation. kat: following up on that, we have a question from twitter. i will remind everyone in our audience that you can see the questions at #postlive.
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can you discuss how independent contractors statuses can hinder the rights to organize? do you want to take that one? [laughter] oisin: 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. that won't work for us. we want to build a platform that serves our customers and pros. and in order to do that we need to figure out exactly what our pros want. it is one thing for us to survey our pros, do focus groups, et c. 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
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out, but there is a strong interest from lots of parties to say, how can we work with labor? we have leaned in to labor multiple times before. i'm hopeful we can do that again. and i think there's a huge opportunity to not only help workers in the gig economy organize, but help workers in general organize. vikrum: i think it is a very important question. there's no doubt that labor unions have helped build the middle class of this country, with everything from wage protections to harassment protections, even the ability to day workweek, fullstop. what we need to do is make sure, recapture workers voice because under label log it is difficult under 1099 so we need to make sure as a tech platform, that we , prioritize this voice.
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postmates 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 conversations we are having here in washington dc, and at the local government. and part of what organizing is aiming to do is create those worker protections. what we have been trying to do is take a look at different models and see, within the confines of our long right now, how do we stack benefits on top to get to the heart of what that questioner is asking. so we have rolled out a free health savings account on the open enrollment period that just concluded this weekend. over the last two years, we overlly helped sign up 2400 postmates for health care under obamacare that previously didn't have insurance. and actually reroute them to
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simplify tax matters. and we have been using department of labor funded grants through an organization so we can work on upskilling. within the way the current laws are structured, we would like to do more by connecting to benefits, but we really need to contemplate a world where we are thoseling the delivery of 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 really looking to lawmakers for is the ability to experiment. cat: can you talk about how handy is offering these things compared to what vikrum is , talking about with postmates? oisin: we encourage folks to sign up for affordable care, flexible benefits, flexible savings account.
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we have encouraged folks to do lots of things, but we stopped 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 want more flexibility, the ability to set their own hours, call off and cancel, the ability to say, something has come up and i need to adjust my schedule. we've prioritized that above everything else. it is really important to preserve the flexibility that the independent contractor
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status gives our folks, and also the ability to negotiate some of their wages. 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 create a structure so we can test more things faster. cat: sorry that i misspoke before and said employees instead 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 are you under to offer these new forms of benefits when the labor market is really tight, and recruiting might be more competitive? vikrum: i actually don't know if i would characterize it as pressure. the awesome thing about 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 350,000 postmates. we know lots of them are using
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it to earn. we know about 80% 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. so you think about the marketer has a client for three to six hops on theonly postmates 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. but i will 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, there is consolidation of wealth among a few, there are skyrocketing health care costs. politicization of that health care doesn't help. so what we really need to do is take stock, as a private sector company, how can we do right by
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that workforce and do so within the confines of the law. and that is about investing in postmates, asur opposed to some competitive edge. cat: 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 about those fees and how you use that to ensure that workers are showing up and doing high-quality work on their jobs? oisin: when you think about the typical transaction on handy, it is in someone's home. it's important we put that customer experience at the top of the list. 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,
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they have given up something and are 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 that is going to that 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. so on both sides of our platform, we have incentives and disincentives to make sure people do what they actually say they are going to do. if the customer cancels at the soif the customer cancels at the last minute 30 minutes before a 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. so we have incentives and disincentives, and the opposite of that is, when you go back to the same customer again and again, there is the opposite, which is you get extra bonus incentives for making the
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customer really happy. it is an incredibly complicated marketplace that has a lot going on across logistics, customer behavior, pro behavior, customer safety. and we need to make sure we have the right incentives in place to make the marketplace work. cat: the other incentive we see companies using a lot is surge pricing to drive contractors in high-end demand times. can you talk about how postmates approaches this issue? have you introduced fees or anything of that nature for your fleet? vikrum: in terms of the customer side of the equation, we have a tool called postmates unlimited, which allows you to get unlimited deliveries above $15 or more for just $7.99 a month. on the fleet end, to encourage postmates to go out there we do , use dynamic pricing. i think that is important.
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the way our economics work is a very demand elastic model. which means that the 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. so that has a bit of a flywheel model that creates that pull and tug in real time. but that flywheel model actually works because we are able to incentivize different deals both on the customer side and on the pro side. on super bowl sunday, there's high demand. on tuesday morning, when people are may be at their offices, there might be another way to incentivize people to make sure we create that coverage. so that demand elastic pricing allows us to focus on customer need, but that goes back to the core point of why that flexibility is so vital. ability to get a ride
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from dca is because of that lyft ride being able to be there because we are not setting those shifts in advance. the worker intellect to choose that approach, to be on the app at that hour and to your point earlier, the flexibility is part of our model and that is how we price around it as well. cat: 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? vikrum: last week, we introduced a new member of our fleet, and -- an 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
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that respects the right of way for pedestrians so we are not running roughshod over pedestrians. 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 responsible way. the prospect of robotics is really only as scary as we the human creators are choosing to wield it. so because we are trying to make sure it has that social-aware navigation, designing it with that in mind, that is something that we are committed to. the second think happens to be 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
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swords to plowshares to recruit air force veterans and navy veterans who are well attuned at dealing and operating robotics. i think if you wield that tool responsibly and try to upscale and create the curriculum around that, we can walk into an embracement of automation without jettisoning the notion of the dignity of work. cat: how do you think automation is changing on-demand work in the home? oisin: i think work in the home is probably a fortunate category , in that it is at the tail end of automation. i think it is one of the categories along with eldercare, where it is truly going to be very hard when you are repairing , something in your home, carrying out work in such a disparate environment where the , nuances of how to clean something, repair something,
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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. and i think there is augmentation that is going to happen, some technologies that will make it easier and easier to upskill people to repair more and more complicated things, but i don't see it as a for work that is done in the home over the next decades. cat: i want to thank our guests for being here. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] danielle: good morning, everyone. my name is danielle paquette.
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i am 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 philip lippel, the assistant director at m.i.t.'s washington office, where he poured it a education mission -- workmates the workforce education mission with federal agencies in congress. liz wessel. she is the ceo of wayup, a platform that connects early career candidates with employers. let's start with liz. wayup, amazing platform, it has millions of users. first of all, how does it work and where did you get the idea? liz: 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.
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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 for an internship in marketing and thought marketing was just making tv commercials. i felt like 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.
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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. i'm sure we'll get into what types of jobs later. danielle: one thing, before you move on, i hear from employers all 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? liz: we are from some employers that they get too many applicants and how do we find the quality or diversity? that would get some a great diverse candidates at the top of the final, but they end up
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hiring so many referrals that there are so few spots left for new types of candidates to apply or get hired. i would say actually, more often than not, we are having two types. this is probably a little more frequent with college. we get to many applicants, how do we find the right one? we were talking a little bit backstage, how do we get candidates through the funnel and 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. the problem is you are looking , at only five schools. if you start looking at all the schools in the country -- our our users represent 6600 schools. danielle: philip, you address workforce development by
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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. philip:. there are 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 our work on 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 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. we haven't had any new ones in the last eight years, but the , existing ones are getting up
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to speed and some of them are going pretty strong. we have both worked on the overall design of that program, but, also had some deep involvement in a couple of the specific institutes. you were 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. to try to tell you what this is, if you have seen pictures of automated vehicles being tested by google, uber, various companies, they have these big things on their roof, arrays of sensors know -- that help the cars know where it is. if you want to get those sensors down in cost and size to where they can be put into every car,
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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 also uses of this in 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. it has 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 for this thing is in albany. cars are being built from cambridge to albany and beyond to rochester, which is an historic area of great strength in optics. there's a story that's been floating around recently about a student, for example, went to a
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community college in central massachusetts, his name is sean, and 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 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 our that go with that. are that go with that. some
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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 near where some of the fabricators are, in a pretty new way for us. it is pretty interesting. danielle: that is interesting. i think you both can weigh in on this next question. you are describing manufacturing jobs that you wouldn't really think require much of what you -- what is known as soft skills. communication, management, 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 among the people you connect with careers. liz: we recently were doing an
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analysis and it was pretty similar to other external studies we read, where 60% of candidates were failing interviews for soft skills reasons. things like when you hop on the phone, how are you answering the phone? how are you communicating back communicating? 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 are parents. you may not be able to afford a babysitter. if your baby is screaming in the background and you have an interview, often an employer may look at that and say, they are babysitting someone's baby? the list goes on. 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.
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something we saw was that the players what, and it kind of make sense when you think about it they would get 1000 , candidates. one of our employers got 15,000 applicants for 75 internship positions. extremely prestigious employer. 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 through first-hand . referrals are unlikely 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. 70% of candidates they met at career fairs were men. this is already a male-heavy company. they said, how do we get everyone at the top to get
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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. so that they wouldn't have those problems in the second round. we did that for several different clients. what is so 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. danielle: you are saying millennials are responding to feedback well? [laughter]
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l, i know you have thoughts on this and how bias might play a role. philip: 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. surprisingly enough 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 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. we certainly, of course, 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.
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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 are 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 start talking about soft skills. part of it is the appearance, how you talk, how you -- 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, about your work in a way that is meaningful for them to do their part of it.
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teamwork, collaboration, is a huge thing. the workforce has changed in those types of ways. the work environment has changed. there's much more teaming. many more things are 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. danielle: it is not surprising as a result that we are seeing , companies, mainly larger companies, investing in training programs. these training programs are no longer just about the hard skills of, this is how you enter your time, it is what we define as collaboration. here is how we think about teamwork. here's how to go to your manager about a problem.
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it's fascinating. philip: 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 that over the last probably 15 years or more. liz: if you look at i think the 12 largest employers of entry-level candidates, they are substantially investing more year-over-year in soft skills. i think, 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. philip: 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
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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 more 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, and the top bar is these skills that you need to be able to 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,
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whether internships like you guys work with or -- liz: extracurriculars. philip: 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. there are now much clearer lines. talk when you are doing homework, then write it up yourself, and don't talk on the tests. it is really, it is permeating through the classrooms, not just the extracurricular activities. danielle: how do you extend this learning and training over time? we already know technology is changing things seemingly every day. how can young workers prepare to stay relevant throughout their
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careers? liz: one really exciting area i am fascinated by his online education. one of my friends started an amazing company. it is called code academy. 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. because most of the ones i've seen are more specific to hard skills. what manager hasn't said to their team member, you have to get better at giving feedback? as collaboration, at something soft skills related? that early career employee can go online and take a whole course in it, maybe have an interactive component. that would be awesome. philip: the question of whether or not you can find that stuff online is a really interesting one. i don't know what is out there. m.i.t.will say, is that
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has been very involved in the online education movement. we cofounded one of the major providers of online courses. it has been run by many organizations. 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 online classes. it's really hard. i would say that it is going really slowly. the ability to create online learning communities is going more slowly than other aspects. liz: i will be fascinated to see what universities do. i was asked on a panel recently, what class do i wish had been taught at penn? adulting 401. i had no
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idea what a 401k is, had no idea how to do my taxes. i had to learn all of these things. fortunately, i had people around me who could help me learn these things. there is an entire soft skills component about feedback and so on. i would be curious to see if universities would start investing in it especially because they keep boasting about 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. there is one career service professional for every several thousand students in your ever school. that is not scalable. danielle: you both are gatekeepers for opportunities in different ways. you are helping people find work. when you work for technology or build technology, how do you reduce the chance of
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discrimination within those algorithms? we are really excited about the fact that 1/3 of our base is blacka nd hispanic, and two thirds of our user base are female so we work with a diverse . 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 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, in all shapes and forms. -- underrepresented minorities come 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.
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one of the largest employers in the country, i think it is a fortune 500, 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 dataa, now send us the that you have received. it went from like 36% of applicants who were black and hispanic all the way 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. i do think that there is inherent problem with companies. i will say for everyone sad 10 happyave a lovely ones. employers want to work or less, and they do see that data. i will make is that
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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 are turning off from those assessments 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 study that came out a few months ago where they had a.i. professionals within amazon build an assessment that they thought didn't have any bias. low and behold, even they couldn't remove the bias. danielle: sounds like a challenge that is ongoing. philip, how does m.i.t. deal with this? philip: let me talk on two ends of the spectrum. on the workforce side and getting jobs, i have less interaction with the actual m.i.t. getting jobs.
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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 into, for example, developing test labs at m.i.t. giving money to worcester polytechnic 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 is that that will be used as an industry training site and date certification site, in some of these new areas the significance don't exist , yet. that is a really interesting kind of new thing for us.
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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 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. not enough people from diverse backgrounds, rural, minority, whatever-- with the possible exception of international students for whom we get more applicants then we can take. 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
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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 types 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. danielle: we have about three minutes left, and a question from the audience. someone has tweeted. is state policy or federal policy better at fostering relationships between employers
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and universities to improve training and 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. they don't want to support particular industries at the expense of others. it tends to more broadly say -- 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.
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to some extent, the universities have a role in making sure that happens is and helping to find the right support whether it is from the federal side, state side, or local side. liz: i will say, this is deafly not pointing to the m.i.t.'s, penn's, stanfords of the world, but the top schools in the country of whatever superficial rankings you want to point to, more employers are telling us, we are not relying on universities anymore for anything when it comes to this training. we have given up -- we know that 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
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obvious of a match. 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. out of the -- out of 7000 universities it doesn't look , like that much. danielle: have you noticed a confidence gap among certain hires? maybe they feel like they are not ready to go to m.i.t., or a particular job, but it sounds like people who look to you 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
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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. in some schools i've heard career services people 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. 2% of applications are ever resulting in an interview. 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.
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if you want to be a doctor, you shouldn't major in english or at least 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. we have investment bankers looking for non-finance majors. study something you're passionate about. i could go on and on but we only those are 2 -- really we only have a minute left. philip: i let liz handle how do you get your resume read part. once you are in there, when you get that first interview, what you have heard from us is that people don't go into jobs now with all the skills they need to stay in the job. be prepared to talk about the skills you have that are relevant for the job. please, do research on what the company actually does. it's amazing how many people don't do that.
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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, and 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] >> we had a chat. why don't you sit here, senator young? we are off to a great start. good morning, i'm heather long, an economics correspondent here
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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 a post of him raking leaves where he said it is nice to take on a task where you can actually see tangible results. a bit of political commentary on instagram. i would like to 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. and a you have been heavily involved with it, senator young.
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the big news of the day is obviously these two reports that have come out talking about russia's disinformation campaign to disrupt our collections and our 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, they were actually immediately preceding this event with the understanding that this might come up. 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
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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. really, this comes down to national security. heather: there's the two when you read, -- there's the two reports. i know we are all still making our way through them. 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. as someone who was an intelligence officer in the marine corps, i know that the history of battle is meeting measures with countermeasures.
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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 that will seek to do this. there have been other countries in the past that have tried 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. it is important that, that said, the united states, a republican democracy, does all we can to
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make sure people have faith that when they cast the lever, or 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 there 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'm glad you brought that up. you use instagram as i mentioned earlier. i think that is something that surprised people in the report, that they thought it was on facebook and twitter, but there
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were more posts happening on instagram. do we need to regulate social media more? senator young: perhaps. it is a debate we ought to have. so many of us are trying to figure out exactly what that would look like. the business model of many of these social media platforms is kind of a volume-based business 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
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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. i am the member of the commerce committee, and we've had some earrings -- some hearings about this issue. i know that silicon valley is increasingly trying to get out in front of this, taking it seriously. i know that if they don't come with solutions in a box for members of congress with respect to a new regulatory atmosphere, we will have to come up with new solutions independent of their thoughtful 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 right now. again, i would just
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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. i have to say, some of my colleagues at the post were calling a bunch of republicans yeseterday and only senator richard, 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.
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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 were. 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 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
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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. what timing. thank you. nice to see you. senator king: good to see you. thank you for inviting me. heather: senator young, we've been pounding him on the new reports. senator young: i'm eager to discuss this at greater length after having read that one article. i'm just teasing, of course.
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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 position. senator king: i thought we were on the gig economy. we are on the gig economy for russians. we both got gigged on this. let's hope that putin is a member of the independent workforce. two quick questions for you, senator king. you heard these reports. what are you going to do about this? senator king: that is the question i was afraid you're going to ask. first, the reports are a very powerful and i think underlying what we have been saying for a year and a half. i have read about two thirds of them. i was flying down yesterday on a plane and had to hold my phone
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sideways. the data is pretty overwhelming. the big number was 130 million americans at least. it is a very difficult question to know what to do. we are a free society. we have the first amendment. the russians are improving their tradecraft in the sense that in 2016, they did a lot of organic, -- they greeted their own material, their own websites, their own rumors and all of that. it, what they are doing, appears is amplifying things that are already out there. somebody in america publishes an outrageous conspiracy theory, and they amplify it and increase trend use spots to make a -- box to make a trend -- bots to make a trend. would you do about that is very difficult. we can't cut of people on the internet.
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this is the long way of saying, i don't know. i think it requires some serious thought. what they are doing is a geopolitical jiu-jitsu. you did sue is using her a strike against you. that is what they are doing. -- jiu-jitsu is using your own strength against you. that is what they are doing. we can't turn it off. they're using the strength of our open society, first amendment, free speech, to undermine the very values of the country. it is a difficult problem to figure out where that line is. senator young: i want to build on that mention of the first amendment -- if we were to apply the same libel laws to one of your popular social media platforms, say the washington post has to abide by. the business model of these social media platforms would fall apart because they cannot hire enough people to check
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every post and validate every claim. there are different types of increasingly, so many americans rely on these platforms for their news. senator young: and facebook doesn't know whether it is a newspaper or a back fence that anyone can put a poster on. that is the dilemma. heather: i'm glad you brought up facebook. one of the things on the report that jumped out at me was, regrettably, it appears that the platform, -- platforms, facebook, google, youtube, may have evaded in some of their statements to come -- congress. that is a bold thing to say in a report. are these companies doing enough to cooperate with the intelligence committee and provide you with what is needed? senator young: i think it is fair to say they weren't at work -- at first. i think part of it was protecting their business model,
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and part of it was they were naive. i don't think they realize the extent of what was going on. they gradually have become more aggressive, and i think recently, there's a line in the report that says this book is doing a much better job. i think they are trying to be on top of it, but again, it is a very difficult, -- if a post, it is not the ads, it is the newsfeed that comes in, it looks like somebody's writing, have you heard that this and this happened. and then he gets repeated. i can tell you, as a politician it is terrifying. if somebody does a negative ad on tv, you can put your own ad on tv and respond to it. they're lying about my record. if it is something on social media, it just ricochets around you. you don't get a chance to confront it. you can never put it to rest. it keeps multiplying.
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i think the companies are doing a better job. i think facebook is taking it seriously, to be honest. google has been a little more reluctant, because youtube was a big part of it -- of what this report talks about. i think google has been slower. as you recall, we had a major hearing at the intelligence committee, they did not even come. they should have. heather: we will switch gears preacher medically. -- pretty dramatically. senator young, when we talk about innovation in this country, i think it is a shame that people often don't think of the midwest. they don't think of your state as one of the first parts of what -- of where it will be innovative in america. senator young: i do, too. heather: how do you make sure the industrial midwest as part of the technology revolution? we have the right senator up your, because indiana
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happens to be the most manufacturing intensive state in the country. there is incredible innovation. actively more innovation in the manufacturing sector that there is any services realm you look at the productivity improvements and so forth. incrediblyen disruptive, but also promising in terms of the growth opportunities. wer question was about how -- how we should think about this. heather: how do you transition? is it enough to allow the companies evolve into the future or do you need something else? senator young: this will be a whole of society effort. government,ire federal, state, and local, coming up with -- models. hopefully piloting a lot of new models, whether it is related to benefits or workforce training programs.
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we can partner with non-for-profits and also in the private sector. together, we will have to feel our way through this. this transition into a new normal, where workers prepare k-12, maybe pursue some post secondary education, obtain a certificate, obtain an associates degree, 80 go on and get a bachelors degree -- bachelors degree thereafter. there will be retraining programs as well. moving from one job to multiple jobs throughout their career. already in the middle of this transition. it is going to take a number of -- like an agricultural economy to an industrial economy.
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it is not something that was adapted to. it took a couple of generations to get everything set. heather: in that transition, there is also probably going to be a lot more people who are working directly for one company. maybe they are independent contractors, consultants, or something along those lines. by have focused on that introducing a bill with senator can you say a little bit about what that bill is and why is it just a pilot program? why are we ready to introduce a full bill? let me start with the easy part. the pilot program. we in government, for generations, have introduced to many ambitious, large, expensive programs. evaluation,ter an when that happens, it usually
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doesn't even happen, we find out that we wasted a lot of money. instead, we should take a page book, andsinesses' pilot a lot of different models, rigorously evaluate, and then scale those things that are determined to benefit american citizens in a meaningful way. that is the pilot program. model, is one in which the federal government takes modest resources, $20 million, and offers grants to existing businesses who scale portable benefit models that are working in two other geographies and then rigorously evaluate those scaling exercises. we can do the same things with not or state and local governments. -- not for-profits and state and local governments. we can use this money to design, implement and evaluate said programs. i think we needed to do this throughout government, frankly.
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not just with respect to portable benefits, but also workforce retraining. king, you haver been tweeting about one of the big issues in america as we move forward is that a number of people in this country still don't have good internet access. including in your state. senator king: it is a huge issue. heather: how close are we to getting their? senator young: first, i wanted -- senator king: first i want to touch on something that senator young product. agriculture to industrial changed over 250 years. it took a long time for that to happen. we are announcing seeing these transitions happen in years and sometimes in regions in a month, where a whole industry will go away and then what happens next? broadband is the essential infrastructure of the 21st century. that is a commonplace observation. the problem is, in numeral
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america, it is not there. there is a world broadband caucus in the senate -- rural broadband caucus, which i chair. broadband, it is exactly what happened with electricity in the 30's. in the 30's, electricity first was available in dense urban areas get the houses were closer together and it made more sense to string the wires. electric up and he said, we cannot do this to these farms that are i mile apart -- a mile apart. roosevelt did electrification with co-ops and things like that. that is exactly what is happening today. the technology is changing so fast. america, it, rural will be catastrophic if we cannot get broadband in. they're not going to be able to participate. broadband iner, rural areas produces enormous opportunities.
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district, -- i have people in my district that are working all over the country. i wanted to a copy shop and they were working at boise, m.i.t., and california. if you have that connectivity, it suddenly opens up and clement opportunities for people in rural areas that were there before -- it suddenly opens up opportunities for people in rural areas that were there before -- were not there before. i think $380 million for the farming community, a big deal, five years ago, it was $25 million. heather: people are recognizing the problem. senator king: people are recognizing the problem. if i could build on something that angus said, in terms of how the disruption in regional economies often incurs in very short order -- fairly short order. it is occurring in little
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geographies around maine, indiana, and people are struggling to adapt. we need to scale up as many things that are working as quickly as possible and then, really experiment with new models. to put numbers on this, within a decade, by 2030, it is estimated that throughout the world, this is a broad range here, between three and 14% of the global tokforce are going to have switch entire occupational patterns -- categories. that is a 10 year span. entire occupational categories. that it scares the fact that if someone remains in a particular category, the nature of their job is going to change significantly as well. a journalist, the public servant, someone who is working at a call center, or a medical professional will change every they may stay in
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the same job category, but the nature of their work will significantly change. they're going to need to have mechanisms for continuous retraining. that is something that we are going to have to focus on. heather: some states have started funding community college. like rhode island. they will give people free community college for two years, inhelp do that retraining the states and other industrial states that are trying to transition. is that a model you think works? senator king: we have the largest community college system in indiana. it is a unified system. it does work. heather: but can people island, the rhode state government is funding for the people to go and do that. senator young: let's see how that works. havenk everyone needs to -- to be able to play a meaningful role in the gig economy, where employment -- unemployment is 3.8% and employers in my is -- state are
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struggling for employees. most of portly, -- most of portly, we need to make sure that when someone pursues a's -- a field of study, where they can a, back loans and grants, that program of study is valuable. it allows them to land a job that pays well on the backend. b, they're actually able to complete the program of study. the most tragic thing i hear in my travels around the state is when someone pursues a program of study, incurs debt, and has absolutely no certificate. there's another aspect of this that i think is important from a labor employer point of view. the biggest issue i have in maine, and talking to people around the country, is lack of workers. they're having a 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
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workforce that is available and -- eventually,th the lack of workers will be a drag on our economy. businesses aren't expanding or growing because they cannot find the people. heather: have you asked them, have increased rages -- wages? i always ask: them. sometimes yes, sometimes no. i write about indiana being the most manufacturing intensive state in the country. 80% of manufacturers in the country say they are unable to meet customer demand or expand their businesses on account of labor surges. -- labor shortages. senator young: one of my favorite signs was outside of a sandwich shop, said now hiring, 401(k), and benefits. that is the market. heather: wage growth, it is better than it has been, but it is still weak compared to say the 1990's, early 2000's.
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senator king: i think there is a lot of opportunity in rural areas. you don't have to build a big factory. you don't have to build a big office building. you could have your workers the community and it opens up an opportunity for people in rural america, and also for companies that need people. 1-10,r: on the scale from how worried are you about automation? of these headlines, telling us robots are going to take my job, maybe your job one day. is it something we should fear? >> put me in a five. i'm excited about the possibilities in 15 years, we could increase the rate of productivity by 40%. this comes from mckinsey global. hopefully i am citing the numbers correctly. that's great. that means more wealth for the economy, more wealth for
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americans to an fast in infrastructure and public goods. 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 for-profit companies. >> i'm less worried about than five because people 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. 20 years ago, 25 years ago nobody heard of web designers and all of those things. i think there will be additional jobs that will come out. the key is, here's the problem. i had a case in maine or a shoe factory closed and we lost 200 jobs.
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the same day, one of our tech companies hired to people to do computer work and they were doing insurance claims in another state. on paper we lost no people. they were not the same people. the people who lost the shoe jobs, that's all they had done and they were going to be in the pickup and go to portland and sit down and start processing claims. that is the challenge of what i call stranded workers. we have to do a better job of providing retraining to bring people from 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. >> we need to improve our gauges.
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we are told by the department of labor that in 2005 there were more members of the independent workforce. your gig workers and contingent workers. they had a larger percentage of workforce in 2005 that were in that independent workforce category than now. that seems off. for us to have confidence moving forward, as we develop policies, i think we need to optimize our data. it's a boring issue but highly important for those of us who take facts seriously. >> we wrote about this. the latest labor department to statistics are that 50% of -- americans are in the gig 15 million economy. that is only 10% of the
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workforce. we were stunned that it wasn't much higher. if you look it should be closer to 25%. how quickly do you think it will grow? they didn't grow from 20 15th 2005 to the latest study. >> i think it has grown depending on how you measure it. the way the department asset surveys is whether or not someone's occupations in the independent workforce. raise your hand if you are lyft?ng uber or most of you have had some level of communication with your uber or lyft driver. this is a side job for a number of them. they are not even included in the current numbers. the scale that overall manner of different professions and we are missing a lot of people.
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we have to get better at this. >> the labor department is measuring people's primary job. one of the biggest risks to the workforce is if we have a downturn in the next couple of years and a lot more workers would be dislocated. the stock market has not been going in a direction many of us would like to see. >> that points out. we are talking about benefits and the gig economy, was number one? 401(k)s which are not doing all that well. >> a lot of investors say they are nervous about a slowdown. maybe even a recession by 2020. what is your read would you look at the data? what are you seeing in the stock market and your own 401(k)s and pension plans? >> i don't want
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talk the economy down. if you look at historical numbers, we would be due for a downturn in the economy. we are actually past-due. this expansion is 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, whether they are inthe independent workforce, 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. >> one of the problems with the
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current deficit is it's an enormous and number two, we've used up our slack to deal with the recession. we've cut taxes during a boom, cut taxes during war, and create a situation where there's -- we remember the direction to the 2008 recession was a trillion dollar public fund to try to build things around the country, to try to stimulate the economy. 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 recession. >> and we have failed over generations to take seriously the predictions of actuaries related to the aging workforce
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and to make sustainable the largest programs of government. >> we are the first generation in history to inherit from our parents and borrow from our kids. >> that's a whole 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. 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 call for a withdrawal of u.s. support for the saudi's war in yemen. buked that senatet
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resolution you supported. what is your response? 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 administration made a mistake by creating a kind of either/or. either you absolving the prince or 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 vote we took on yemen a couple of weeks ago was the first time in 45 years that house of congress as implemented the war powers act. and exercised some control over the executives 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
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itself in the saudi's felt they had to respond to it indicates the meshes has been received. >> should the president condemned the crown prince? >> 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. i don't think it was a quinces and 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. we need to continue to provide this administration the leverage they need to apply pressure to the saudi's. >> do you think it makes a difference if the president does make it verbal condemnation? >> i think it's of us needs to
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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, engage d in monstrous behavior and i think we will remain vigilant on this. the law requires it. the president signed into law is to be commended for it 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, we will have another fight in the coming weeks and we will see where they stand. >> thanks for your time, we are
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out of time. i appreciate having you both of you here. [applause] >> you are a lot better off than i am here than warner. [laughter] [applause] >> thanks again. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] when the new congress to his office when the new congress tos office in january, it will have the youngest freshman class in history. worse, new leaders. -- new congress, new leaders. watch it starting january 3. >> sunday on "q&a," "wall street journal" columnist holman
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jenkins talks about politics during the trump era. holman: i'm not think he is a racist, i think he thinks of everything as a friend or an enemy. first thing is an dear,hat i think he holds that our country has been shortchanged in its dealings with the rest of the world, trade policy, immigration policy, the things that, in the minds of many of his supporters in middle america, that is a sincere set of beliefs on his part. >> holman jenkins sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." monday night on "the communicators," author byron reeves talks about his book "the
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fourth age," about artificial intelligence and robotics. ron: we are creating technologies that are of the same magnitude and will change human intelligence, robots by which we have human action. it is an interesting question, when you build machines to think and act for us, what is next for us? what do we do? watch "the communicators," one day night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> at a joint hearing of the house and senate veterans veteransommittees, affairs secretary robert wilkie discussed aiming better access at v.a. providers, reducing wait times at v.a. hospitals, and produce

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