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Future of Work: What lies ahead?


The Future of Work poses pressing questions for Washington's workforce, employers, and our state. As automation increases, will there be enough jobs? How will workers fare as they turn to short-term, "gig economy" jobs, without the safety net of health insurance and retirement plans. 

Or, looking on the bright side, how can we put technology to work for us? How will robots equipped with artificial intelligence reduce tedious, repetitive work so we can focus on our passions, and possibly shrink the work week as we know it?

Washington in the spotlight

These questions, and others, are the focus of a first-of-its kind Future of Work project funded by the 2018 Legislature and signed into law by Governor Inslee. We are on the cusp of exciting new prospects for our diverse workforce as we embrace future work opportunities for all Washingtonians. This project puts Washington in the spotlight as a thought leader. The framework used to answer these questions is also trailblazing: How can Washington's workforce and employers prosper together?


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How this project started, and where it's headed

In April 2018, Washington's Legislature established the Future of Work Task Force. Made up of legislators, business and labor leaders, the 16-member Task Force was charged with developing a set of policy recommendations that help Washington businesses and workers prosper together.

Open meetings allow for more stakeholder input

The Future of Work Task Force will use an open meeting process that allows for a wide range of interested stakeholders to participate in task force learning, discussions, planning and policy development. The Task Force will also be be required to establish a set of success indicators and a measurement tracking system to go along with policy recommendations.

Two staffers hired to oversee policy and research

The Workforce Board hired two staff to oversee the Future of Work Project. They will help the Task Force better understand the challenges of "future proofing" our workforce as technology advances and more fully explore the intersection of business and work. Project staff will also help the Task Force prioritize potential policy items to explore more deeply.

Read more about our Future of Work Project Staff.

Staff contacts: Lewis McMurran, (360) 709-4628; Joe Wilcox, (360) 709-4631



Future of Work Task Force: Bios

Future of Work Meetings

Future of Work Research and Resources


TVW filmed the October 29 Future of Work Task Force meeting at Highline College. Take a look!

Part 1: Morning session (video)

Part 2: Afternoon session (video)



Workforce Board Executive Director Eleni Papadakis is interviewed in September 2018 about the Future of Work by TVW reporter Dave Martinson.

Watch the video! (5 minutes)


How can business and labor navigate changes as technology moves forward, impacting jobs, skills, and wages.






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