The Upskill Battle: Why Amazon and Other Big Companies
are Struggling to Retrain Employees
for Technology Jobs of the Future


John Pavley (SVP of Software Engineering, Viacom)

Presentation Topic: An overview and analysis of Amazon’s new Upskill 2025 initiative through the lense of Diversity & Inclusion and what it will mean for non-technical employees to to upskill to technology jobs.

Leslie Short (Founder-President-CEO, The Cavu Group)

Presentation Topic:  The importance of making workplace culture the foundation of technology training and upskilling and how leadership needs to rethink corporate culture to be substantively inclusive.

Lauren Weber (Journalist, The Wall Street Journal)

Presentation Topic:  Why Companies Are Failing at Reskilling (her article including recent data and analysis on the US job market). In a tight labor market, employers from Amazon to JPMorgan are trying to get better at retraining the workers they have.


Thousands of companies across the country are in the thick of a digital revolution that requires them to transform their operations. They need an employee base that’s ready to do new kinds of work, filling roles that are just emerging and adapting existing jobs to integrate more data and automation. Employers are still trying to master the challenge of mapping the skills of their current workers, identifying the skills required of their future workforce and filling the gaps between the two. By the time many companies figure out exactly who they need, it’s often too late to invest the necessary time and money into retraining… A recent Accenture survey of 1,200 executives found that, while nearly half say skill shortages are a major concern for the future of their firm, only 3% said they will significantly increase their training budgets over the next three years.” — Lauren Weber (Why Companies Are Failing at Reskilling, The Wall Street Journal)

We have a potential crisis in the making of epic proportions that corporate America has never experienced before.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is well underway and big companies like Amazon, PwC, Accenture and Walmart (to name a few) are leading the charge by investing billions of dollars to upskill, reskill, and cross-skill their workforce in emerging technologies that are disrupting products, services, customer engagement and back-office operations. And, as AI and automation technologies develop exponentially, and quickly take over tasks and jobs once done by humans, the problem of upskilling becomes even more challenging and pressing!

With thought-leader guest speakers Lauren Weber (Reporter, The Wall Street Journal), John Pavley (Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Viacom), and Leslie Short (President and CEO, The Cavu Group), we will explore this topic and its implications on companies (enterprise down to startups), employees, and society at large.

Event Agenda  

  • 6pm – 6:30pm: checkin, mingle, lite food, beverages and wine included
  • 6:30pm – 6:35pm: greetings, intro and topic overview by MC
  • 6:35pm – 6:45pm: brief sponsor intros and offerings
  • 6:45pm – 7:15pm:  speaker presentations
  • 7:15pm – 8:00pm: interactive think tank groups
  • 8:00pm – 8:15pm: audience feedback and survey
  • 8:15pm – 8:30pm: networking and good night!

Lite food and beverages will be served.

About this Event:  

The format of this event will include brief speaker presentations, an interactive think tank where attendees will break out into groups and disucss specific problems/questions, and share their feedback. There will also be a brief, anonymous survey to capture attendees’ attitudes about the topic (the results will be shared during and publicly after the event).


Meet In Place is a network of boutique offsite meeting locations in NYC, London, Tel-Aviv. Our customers are typically international companies, looking to conduct offsite meetings of various types, including creative brainstorming sessions, quarterly business reviews, sales training, workshops and even job interviews. They love the stylish, energetic meeting rooms, both formal and informal, in various sizes, that are especially designed to ensure they will be as productive as possible.

TECH 2025 members get a 10% discount off first booking using this discount code on their website or on their mobile app:  TECH2025 

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