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One of the most crucial issues in the job market is how to close the skills gap in the labor market—particularly when it comes to the middle skills jobs that have always provided a path to the middle class. This year, Burning Glass and several partners would like your help in proposing a panel at SWSWedu to examine one of the promising strategies: short-term “boot camp” training programs.

Boot camps—ranging from a day to several weeks—can teach skills quickly, and especially skills that aren’t taught at the college level. They could hold promise for dealing with the growing phenomenon of hybrid jobs that combine skills from different disciplines, and they could also offer an alternative to the “upcredentialing” affecting middle-skill positions.

So far, however, boot camps have mostly taken root for technology skills. Can they be used more broadly? The panelists will use their expertise and real-time job data to examine the possibilities. The panel members include Burning Glass CEO Matt Sigelman; Rachel Romer Carlson, CEO and co-founder of Guild Education, Bridgette Gray, Executive Vice President of Per Scholas; and Byron Auguste, Managing Director of Opportunity@Work.

As part of the SXSW PanelPicker process, the public can vote on which panels they think should be included on the SXSW agenda. Anyone can vote, whether they have attended (or plan on attending) SXSW or not. You’ll need to sign up for a free PanelPicker account first.

We hope you’ll vote for our panel, “Scaling the boot camp model for middle class jobs,” and help us put the skills gap on the agenda in this important venue.

Scott Bittle is Communications Director at Burning Glass Technologies.
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