What the needs, skills, and demands of the workforce of the future will look like is one of the biggest questions facing society.
Innovations such as increased automation and artificial intelligence are reshaping a variety of sectors of the economy, clouding the workforce question further still.
The Tickle College of Engineering’s Center for Advanced Systems Research and Education (CASRE) is hosting a two-day symposium to try to tackle those topics and provide some answers.
“Organizational and Workforce Requirements for the Future” is bringing business and industry leaders to UT’s Pilot Flying J Ballroom for two days of talks and presentations in search of solutions.
“We all know that the workforce, the nature of manufacturing and business, and how we implement technology is changing pretty rapidly,” said Rupy Sawhney, UT’s Heath Fellow in Business and Engineering and CASRE director. “It’s a problem with no simple answer, but a challenge we must take on nonetheless.”
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs will kick off Friday’s series of speakers, which include several notable people, including:
- Keith Altshuler, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center president and chief administrative officer, who will discuss US healthcare workforce challenges;
- Gabe Bolas, Knoxville Utilities Board president and CEO, who will explain the importance of investing in a skilled, diverse workforce;
- Bob Granata, Huntington Ingalls Industries Technical Solutions nuclear vice president, who will talk about maritime operations at and their shipbuilder academy program to develop and retain employees;
- Morgan Smith, Consolidated Nuclear Security president and CEO in charge of the Pantex Plant and Y-12 National Security Complex, who will examine strategies for the new challenges in workforce development.
This is the third annual symposium for CASRE, which was created at UT to help industries achieve better efficiency while at the same time improving conditions and outcomes for workers.
In connection with the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, CASRE has several advanced lab spaces, including the Smart Production Laboratory to aid process development, the Ideation Laboratory to enable rapid prototyping, and the Natural Interface Laboratory to improve human-machine interaction.