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INNOVATE® New Jersey

The global talent market is a pressing concern that affects organizations and economies worldwide. According to a survey conducted by ManpowerGroup, 69% of employers reported difficulty in finding skilled workers in 2022. This shortage has been attributed to various factors, including demographic shifts, skills gaps, and the rapid pace of technological advancements like Generative AI.

In our interconnected world, the global talent gap remains a significant obstacle to all areas of progress. However, it is essential to recognize that talent knows no boundaries, and individuals from diverse backgrounds have the potential to contribute immensely towards solving global challenges. As advances in Artificial Intelligence(AI) and automation accelerate, and traditional workplace models are upended, the need for highly skilled knowledge workers with freshly unencumbered perspectives will be critical.

Across the United States and around the world, talent starved organizations are coming to the realization that traditional communities and regions for sourcing highly skilled talent have become exhausted and labor arbitrage has waned. Hence, previously overlooked regions such as American deep south states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have become attractive. The 125 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) operating, primarily, in this region are receiving new attention as this talent market emerges. HBCUs play a significant role in higher education, providing opportunities for African American students to receive quality education. According to data from the United Negro College Fund, HBCUs graduate almost 20% of African American students who earn undergraduate degrees. However, McKinsey research indicates that HBCU graduates are underrepresented in leadership positions, with only 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs and less than 1% of tech startup founders coming from HBCUs. Similarly, the continent of Africa, with its rich cultural heritage and vast underemployed talent pool (60% of its population are under the age of 25), has far more than natural resources to offer. Untapped, skilled talent in these regions have a crucial role to play in closing the talent gap and enriching the global talent pipeline. By embracing these markets and providing opportunities for growth and development, we can tap into a new wellspring of innovation and creativity that will benefit all sectors.

To harness this potential, we must invest in education, mentorship, and skill-building platforms across regions of underinvestment. As AI ushers in a new era of talent demand to fuel productivity advancements, there will be no end to the demand for creative thinkers. By engaging underrepresented talent in the US, Africa, and across the world, American companies will be fueled with new streams on innovation consciousness to compete on the global stage.

Michael Rose is a visionary leader and New Jersey native who sits at the intersection of talent development and technology optimization. With a deep passion for innovative business solutions and developing talent, Michael has dedicated his career to leveraging technology to address workforce challenges by creating businesses geared towards addressing the global talent gap.

As an entrepreneur in staffing, consulting and managed services for the private and public sector, Michael has witnessed the transformative power of technology and its ability to connect people and ideas across borders. Inspired by this, he embarked on a journey to bridge the global talent gap and create opportunities for thousands of aspiring individuals from all backgrounds.

Driven by entrepreneurial spirit, Michael has co-founded for-profit companies, Vignetic Inc., PERMEVO and TKTKONNECT LLC, with the central mission of bringing opportunities for growth, equity and prosperity to underutilized workforce populations in the US and abroad. Under his guidance, these companies have become a beacon of workforce innovation, developing cutting-edge solutions that have a profound impact on the business sectors and global communities they serve. As a fierce advocate for arts, education and health equity, Michael also seeks to elicit impact through board and advisory positions with McCarter Theater, NENI (National Education Network Inc.), WeXL, and SERV Behavioral Health System .

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