Amazon is Positioned to Save America from Automation

As automation gnaws at the economy, Fortune 500 companies have come out with training programs to prepare their workers for a future in which their jobs change significantly — or cease to exist at all.

Why it matters: Alongside those programs, a for-profit, training-as-a-service industry is emerging — firms that will come into your company and train everyone for you. Amazon, with its troves of data and cash, may be best positioned to dominate this new reskilling-in-a-box business.

The big picture: Around 90 million American workers will require some degree of new training to hold onto their jobs in the near future, says Andy Van Kleunen, CEO of the National Skills Coalition. “But companies and governments have barely figured out how to close skills gaps.”

“We know how to take someone with a college degree and teach them machine learning,” he says. “Taking someone who’s reading at an 8th grade level and training them for an IT job” is much more difficult.
The field of companies in the reskilling game is relatively narrow. “There are a couple of examples of bootcamps that are focused on a small set of tech skills,” but that’s it, says Matt Sigelman, head of Burning Glass Technologies, a labor analytics firm.

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