In 2014, the Markle Foundation committed to establishing REWORK AMERICA, a new initiative to help Americans seize opportunities for lifelong training, good work, and entrepreneurship. To help all Americans flourish in the networked economy, the Markle Foundation will assemble a remarkable group of entrepreneurs, CEOs, technology leaders, academics, community and religious leaders, and others who have the capacity and will to accelerate the creation of new ideas and tools for learning and business growth in the economy of the future. Just as the Starbucks/Arizona State University College Achievement Plan, inspired by the Markle Foundation's work, will provide an online college education to Starbucks partners (employees), REWORK AMERICA will foster new learning opportunities and strategies for business growth to create good work. The Markle Foundation is committing to a million investment in this initiative.
The pace of change has never been greater, and it is impacting the skills and training Americans need to compete in the future. Technology makes it easier than ever to learn and train in creative ways. With the creation of new tools, customized learning and programs for recognized credentials can be within reach for millions. This will require flexible, affordable, and personalized learning that is tailored to what people need, when they need it, at all phases of life.
The potential to start and grow a business or to connect Americans to work is tremendous as their tablets can connect them to billions of potential buyers and clients around the world. It is now possible to put the operational power and insight of large businesses into the hands of main street businesses and entrepreneurs. Commitment makers can empower Americans to efficiently compete in a networked world and create employment opportunities for many more people.
REWORK AMERICA aims to build the next era of American greatness by creating opportunities for all Americans to succeed in today's digital economy.
Today, America confronts perhaps the greatest domestic economic challenge in more than a century as technology and globalization bring unprecedented change, upending traditional employment while creating entirely new ways to work. These powerful forces are disrupting paths to success for so many, while at the same time opening doors to limitless possibilities. Without a clear and aggressive national strategy, today's networked world is creating great uncertainty about how to succeed and flourish. Nearly three out of four Americans have lost confidence that the next generation will be better off than the last.
When presented with the right tools, Americans will grab hold of the chance to learn, to work, and to succeed. Today, 70 percent of middle class Americans in a Markle commissioned national research study said they want the chance to advance their education and training to learn new skills in math, science, and technology. Eighty-six percent agree lifelong learning is critical to keeping up in today's digital economy. It's time to REWORK AMERICA to accelerate innovative learning and work opportunities that will enable people to flourish in a networked world.
Armed with the right tools and guidance, Americans can seize forces of change, learn new skills, and generate new opportunities for work. The time is now for leaders from all sectors, and of diverse perspectives, to do everything they can to support the people and communities they serve. While these are challenging times for many, they also hold tremendous promise.