While the most recent unemployment numbers remain near record lows, the jobless crisis is far from over. And at the end of 2018, the Labor Department found that one in five of those out of work have been job seeking for more than six months. And the effective jobless rate doubles when adding in the large number of people who essentially have given up and left the workforce or who take on part-time jobs because they cannot find full-time jobs. In addition, according to research from the Brookings Institute, automation and AI will affect tasks in virtually all occupational groups in the future. In real terms, approximately 25 percent of U.S. employment, (or 36 million jobs in 2016) will face high exposure to automation in the coming decades.
Philanthropist and venture capitalist Art Bilger founded WorkingNation to expose these hard truths about the looming unemployment crisis and to bring the country together to create pathways to new jobs for a changing economy. Bilger serves as CEO of WorkingNation and has assembled a team of talented journalists, policy experts and non-profit executives to carry out its mission. WorkingNation’s efforts include a series of original programming from award-winning directors and producers, as well as, other forms of interactive multimedia to engage everyday Americans.
WorkingNation’s latest town hall, “Faith at Work,” brought together clergy, teachers and religious community leaders to examine the link between employment, purpose in life, and faith. In a world where dignity of work is one of the cornerstones of our communities and families, and people are spending extended time out of work, unemployed people begin to question and lose faith in themselves and our political and economic systems, which can devastate a person’s personal and family life. WorkingNation focused on how various religions attempt to provide meaning, dignity, support, and comfort for people as they try to navigate these uncertain times for the future of work.
The town hall featured a wide range of religious leaders, discussing: what do our major religions teach us about the relationship between dignified work and a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life? How do our various religions provide support for people as they try to navigate these uncertain times for the future of work? What are our religious institutions doing on the ground in their houses or worship and community centers to help people find the courage, resilience and willingness to retrain and reskill?
And while there is no single solution to the issues of unemployment and the automation of jobs, there are a multitude of promising religion based programs, which bring people together to meet their skills training needs. There are a plethora of successful job assistance programs in religious communities centered on giving people the tools and the resources to restore their faith and empower themselves.
WorkingNation’s “Faith at Work” highlights the various re-skilling programs in religious communities that bring faith back to the people, in order for them to get a great job.
“Faith at Work” is currently being made into a film. To get involved with Working Nation, go to this link.