Jobs4America: How Intrepid Leaders Are Jump-Starting Job Growth in America

By Jim Kohlenberger

As Americans, perhaps the single biggest challenge facing us today is generating new jobs here in our own country. In times of great challenge, America has always turned to innovation for creating new jobs, new industries, and new opportunities for the future.

Having served in two administrations, most recently as chief of staff of the White House Office of Science and Technology, I’ve long understood the critical link between innovation, a smart broadband infrastructure, and the jobs and prosperity it can enable. Broadband today is to job growth what electricity and the telephone were to earlier generations – a breakthrough technology that can fuel entire new industries.

That is why – with millions of Americans looking for work and new broadband-enabled technologies sweeping across the country, transforming the way contact centers operate – a group of forward-looking business leaders have launched a strategic new effort to create jobs in America.

This new coalition, called Jobs4America (which I am privileged to lead), is comprised of contact centers working to create a combined 100,000 U.S. contact center jobs over the next two years. Members of our new coalition are setting meaningful goals for creating a specific number of jobs here in America, and we are challenging companies big and small to join in this campaign to help invest in America and create more American jobs.

Broadband innovation isn’t just a vital spark that improves our lives and transforms the way we work and live, it’s an economic driver that can create the new jobs and industries that are essential for winning the future. Over the past fifteen years, the Internet has generated as much growth as the Industrial Revolution generated in fifty years.

At a time when our economy is struggling to pick up steam, Jobs4America is demonstrating the power of broadband and the importance of contact centers by helping put Americans back to work.

The response has been amazing. New contact centers are signing up to join the effort in droves, Washington is taking notice, and new opportunities are on the way. This industry is now creating more than 4,000 new contact center jobs each month, and with more than 30,000 jobs created since the beginning of 2011, the contact center has a proven record of fueling positive economic growth.

And it’s having an impact. It’s helping to revive some communities hardest hit by the economic downturn. You see it across the country, in Michigan and Florida, California and New York. You see it in homes across the country, where broadband is creating new employment opportunities for homebound people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and stay-at-home parents, for example.

This effort wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership of FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, who, together with Carl Grivner, the former CEO of XO Communications, first came up with the idea for the effort. Broadband deployment and adoption has been a central focus of the Genachowski FCC. Working with the private and public sectors, millions of Americans are now experiencing the newfound benefits of broadband. As he said when he joined us at the coalition’s launch, “This initiative involves meaningful job creation that will have a meaningful impact across America…. I applaud your strong efforts, and I applaud all the businesses that are part of the Jobs4America coalition.”

When Americans call, it’s often to a contact center looking for answers. Today, Washington is calling. They are calling for more jobs. I’m proud to be working with forward-thinking companies who are once again ready with the answers.

This is your moment – your opportunity to shine and to demonstrate the vital role that contact centers play in our economy and for our job future. Be a part of something big – visit today.

Jim Kohlenberger is the executive director of Jobs4America.

[From Connection Magazine November 2011]

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