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Amazon to Retrain a Third of Its U.S. Workforce

Amazon to Retrain a Third of Its U.S. Workforce

Read more on The Wall Street Journal

Featured contributions

  • Bravo Amazon for trying to do the smart and right thing to retrain workers. That said, I'm skeptical this will make any difference unless the classes they offer are as inventive as anything Amazon's ever done. It's hard to find any retraining programs that have ever actually worked at scale. This isn't

    Bravo Amazon for trying to do the smart and right thing to retrain workers. That said, I'm skeptical this will make any difference unless the classes they offer are as inventive as anything Amazon's ever done. It's hard to find any retraining programs that have ever actually worked at scale. This isn't like SAT prep where you take a class and you're good to go. They're "only" contributing about $1,400 per worker per year, which might be too little to solve a systemic problem that includes everything from basic numeracy skills to predicting how occupations evolve over time. To really make a dent, Amazon will need to apply all that Amazon-invention. There isn't an off-the-shelf answer. The classes as described in the press, while they sound fine, probably aren't gonna make enough of a difference at scale. The money (assuming it's all hard costs and not soft estimates for things like lost productivity during training hours) is good. Still, it's ~7 basis points of Amazon's annual budget for a third of their workforce -- and a problem that runs as deep as any Amazon's solved before. So I hope Amazon does something as inventive as AWS, as Amazon Air might be, as Fulfillment by Amazon, as Alexa, as Amazon as they can be -- Please do Amazon, to have a shot at making work work, we need every ounce of your legendary invention we can get!

  • This is a brilliant move on Amazon’s part. Not only does it help them recruit and retrain the best workers, they are leveraging fantastic PR that is likely to shield them from regulatory pressure from politicians who want to “protect jobs”.

More contributions

  • This is an amazing investment and will make an extraordinary change in the morale and focus of the non-technical workforce.

    It needs to catch on. I have always thought that certain jobs should never be careers but should be stepping stones into more fulfilling positions. This is one way to do that

    This is an amazing investment and will make an extraordinary change in the morale and focus of the non-technical workforce.

    It needs to catch on. I have always thought that certain jobs should never be careers but should be stepping stones into more fulfilling positions. This is one way to do that.

    Bravo to Amazon. Make it work.

  • Historically, the success rate of federal retraining programs is 0-15% so I would not get my hopes up.

    I personally think retraining programs as a real solution to automation and job loss is a bit of a delusion.

    Automation is coming for millions of jobs. People find that so hard to accept because

    Historically, the success rate of federal retraining programs is 0-15% so I would not get my hopes up.

    I personally think retraining programs as a real solution to automation and job loss is a bit of a delusion.

    Automation is coming for millions of jobs. People find that so hard to accept because if they cannot accept the fact that many people's labor will no longer have market value and they would no longer have income. Andrew Yang has a solution #YangGang

  • $700M budget spent to retrain its employees! What a brilliant strategy to cut cost and retain employees.

  • We are already living in a era where many employees ( or individuals) have two or more technical skills . With the fruitful crossover between arts and science these days, Its clear that what is coming ahead of us is a world were, as Rod Judkins wrote: "designers are interested in genetics and geneticist designing life".

  • Training inbound new recruits has always been a costly endeavor, companies never realize how much it takes and costs to train people, much less to indoctrinate them to a company's corporate Kool-Aid. While it may seem like a large upfront investment, in the long run this is positive for Amazon at multiple levels.

  • Reskilling is going to be all the more important, as automation marches forward, and Amazon’s commitment should pave the way. I also wonder how long before related businesses start specifically recruiting for “Amazon-retrained” employees.

  • This probably could be a future trend for those giants to retrain their employees for new skills. Interesting!

  • This is necessary and positive. At some point however Amazon is going to have to deal with wage suitability issues.

  • Interesting they are stepping up although they can’t put the genie back In the bottle