Lincoln Shares Insights about “Rebuilding vs. Reopening”

One point that the two panelists agreed upon is the opportunity for each party to use the second round of economic stimulus to further its vison for future economic growth. Mayor Emanuel referred to an Op-Ed he wrote in the Washington Post on structuring stimulus toward “Rebuilding” rather than mere “Reopening” the economy. This refers to providing resources to merely to prop up the economy but in the process, to grow the nation’s critical infrastructure both physical and human.

In particular, his point about a significant number of COVID-related job losses in areas like retail, hospitality and food service potentially either never coming back or returning very slowly, highlighted how COVID has intensified the country’s skills gap which is a well-recognized problem that many companies in the human capital services and technology space are geared to address.

The panelists recalled Mayor Emanuel’s often quoted “Never let a major crisis go to waste” statement from the 2008 financial crisis to emphasize that a winning strategy to galvanize the country through the remainder of the crisis is to sponsor support for individuals to get critical training they need to enter future proof industries and occupations while simultaneously providing innovative companies with talent they desperately need to serve as growth engines for the economy.

Lincoln Perspective

It’s quite likely that additional government resources being allocated to the problem will add short-term urgency to the long term trend toward M&A in the sector as companies continue to transform and converge to further address the skills gap. In particular, we have seen a number of traditional recruitment businesses seek to differentiate themselves with candidates and employers by acquiring capability and content to deliver targeted digital training in high demand skills areas such as software development, cyber security, allied health etc. Additionally, as companies have sought to solve talent supply shortages directly, many have partnered with for-profit, post-secondary education companies to create customized courses to upskill new recruits and existing employees. This is another and less regulatorily scrutinized way for these companies to grow via benefit from funds allocated by the government.

Summary

  • Lincoln International hosted a Zoom client event, Perspective on Decision 2020: The Issues & Implications for the Country, the Economy and You, featuring Governor Chris Christie & Mayor Rahm Emanuel

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