Things to come: Living in a virtual world

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RCC President Dr. Cliff Wood and REDC President Richard Struck honored as they prepare for retirement; Struck’s successor introduced to Rockland

BY KATHY KAHN

Data analyst Dean Whittaker with REDC board chair Stephen Coyle and outgoing president Richard Struck.
Data analyst Dean Whittaker with REDC board chair Stephen Coyle and outgoing president Richard Struck.

While kudos were handed out to local companies that have contributed to the county’s success, Rockland Economic Development Corp.’s annual luncheon attendees were  also warned of a future where the labor market will change rapidly and many jobs will no longer exist.

“The choices you make today determine the path you will take in the future,” cautioned data analyst Dean Whittaker, REDC’s guest speaker at Suffern’s Crowne Plaza. “What can the United States do to recapture its position in the world marketplace?”

The analyst predicted 80 percent of jobs today will not exist by 2030. He pointed to the increasing number of workers that have gone from receiving W-2 forms at year end to 1099ers (independent contractors), who often telecommute.  “The United States must remain in the global economy and avoid becoming isolated,” said Whittaker.

Workers with regular paychecks and company benefits may soon become independent contractors as current business trends expand.
Workers with regular paychecks and company benefits may soon become independent contractors as current business trends expand.

“One thing that cannot be replaced—yet—is the ability to relate to others, but has built two computers that can talk to each other.”

If you think Whittaker’s take on artificial intelligence is too far out, check out the 1957 sci-fi classic, “Forbidden Planet,” which makes today’s A.I. look like Lincoln Logs.

After Whittaker’s presentation, REDC’s annual awards were presented to Deborah Boening of Oak Beverages, Entrepreneur; Rockland BOCES, Service Provider; and Safer World Group, Manufacturing.

Dr. Cliff Wood, outgoing president of Rockland Community College, received special REDC Board recognition, and PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Program) recognized W. H. Kassner for its achievements in 2016.

Another member of Rockland’s business community will also be retiring: Richard Struck, who replaced Michael DiTullo as President of REDC, is handing the reins over to Jeremy Shulman, economic manager for the City of New Rochelle in Westchester.

 

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