By Larry Williams, President and CEO, Technology Association of America

When it comes to the innovation economy, change is a constant. Unfortunately, because of the intense pace of disruption, educational, training, and career development programs often lag behind fast-emerging technology.

At TAG, our interest in technology is rooted in our commitment to the success of people—students pursuing knowledge, employees building skills and managers creating value in a hyper-competitive marketplace. We’re here to guide members through this transformation so they can thrive, and we don’t do it alone. We’re proud to partner with others sharing our goal to build a productive workforce for the future.

One such organization is Science for Georgia. This past week, I was honored to join a panel discussion on “Capacity Building – Physical Infrastructure to Support Human Infrastructure.” Thanks to Science for Georgia’s Amy Sharma for inviting me to speak and introduce Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan. He’s a strong supporter of upskilling and STEM education, which are vital components of his Partnership for Inclusive Innovation (PIN)

The topic of capacity building is critical because we face a shortage of skilled talent, and it’s getting worse. In Georgia, the unemployment rate for tech workers is -3%, which means there are many more good-paying jobs open than there are qualified workers. By 2027, the shortage of tech workers in the nation will exceed six million. Unless we do something about it, this skills gap will seriously hold back growth and innovation.

For our part, TAG has awarded $185,000+ in scholarships over the past 10 years. Earlier this year, TAG-Ed held its first virtual STEM Day with more than 80,000 students participating across Georgia. TAG-Ed recently launched Pathways to Leadership, a career development program for young professionals. Applications to join our first cohort are open through August. In December we’ll have Day of Code, supporting a global movement reaching tens of millions of students.

Working together with our partners and leaders in the tech community, we’re making solid progress today toward educating and building a technology workforce for tomorrow.