“The robots are coming! The robots are coming!”
Will machines make humans obsolete in the workplace? Recent studies by organizations like the McKinsey Global Institute suggest it’s not so simple. The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, bringing automation, robotics and artificial intelligence to the workplace, will require a far more complex interplay between humans and machines.
According to new studies, workers aren’t being replaced so much as upgraded to more highly skilled, mentally agile versions. Call it Workforce 2.0. And in Henderson, NV, that upgraded workforce is pairing with technology and automation to power success across sectors, from healthcare to manufacturing to business services to tech.
A culture of quality.
Case in point: The recently certified Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Henderson Hospital where premature infants and those weighing less than 1500 grams (approximately three pounds) are treated.
The NICU is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, from ventilators to monitors to environmentally-controlled isollets. However, the most important element of NICU care is the NICU staff: Highly trained neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners and NICU-trained nurses, all working in coordination with an expansive care team that also includes physical, respiratory and occupational therapists, lactation consultants and others.
In the high-tech world of today’s healthcare, it is human knowledge, expertise and dedication—genuine human care—that still makes the difference.
That puts Henderson Hospital in an excellent position, according to Sam Kaufman, the hospital’s CEO, who notes that the hospital set out to differentiate itself by hiring the best staff. “Based on certifications, accreditations and awards, we’ve nailed it,” he says. “The culture at Henderson Hospital is phenomenal. We have great employees. The physicians who practice here are terrific, and they all work hand in glove together.
“And that’s the secret sauce. It’s all about the people. The people we are able to recruit to this city are just phenomenal.”
Another critical factor is the educational pipeline that supplies all of Henderson healthcare enterprises including Sienna Hospital, two oncology treatment centers and Union Village, one of the world’s first and largest integrated healthcare villages. The area’s five institutions of higher learning offer specialized training for professionals across the spectrum of care, with five out of the top 10 degrees and certifications earned by area graduates in healthcare-related fields.
The strength of skills.
For manufacturing, Henderson is creating a pipeline to suit the specifications of today’s automated manufacturing process, working in close collaboration with the College of Southern Nevada to develop a $2 million advanced manufacturing rapid response training program.
Graduates of the program will supply manufacturers like Haas Automation, a global leader in the manufacture of computerized numerical controls, which began construction of its $327 million manufacturing facility in West Henderson in March 2021.
In centuries past, even as late as the 20th century, manufacturing meant a high level of physical labor and lower levels of mental agility. As technology has entered the workplace, followed by robotics and AI, that paradigm has shifted completely.
And that shift to skills and mental acuity puts Henderson ahead of the game across all sectors, explains Derek Armstrong, Director of Henderson Economic Development and Tourism. “Henderson has the highest high school graduation rate in Southern Nevada. And with our relatively young workforce and aligned programming, Henderson’s talent pipeline is ready for the future.”
The face of corporate excellence.
According to Armstrong, the business services sector requires a different though equally strategic balance of human and machine. “While many back-office functions are trending toward higher automation, successful sales and customer service still rely on human decision making and interpersonal communication skills,” he notes. And that requires a seasoned and dedicated workforce.
“With a higher than average percentage of our economy devoted to business services, and, as the home of companies like Ford Motor Credit and Toyota Financial Services, Henderson has developed a brand-enhancing workforce. We are literally the face of corporate excellence.”
Quality of life that supports quality of work.
Underlying Henderson’s workforce quality is a high quality of life, which has earned the city accolades as a “best place to live” by Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report and other publications. In Henderson low costs and low taxes boost worker spending power, nationally acclaimed neighborhoods offer master-planned convenience, and spectacular outdoor recreation includes 66 parks and 180 miles of trails.
Shelley Berkley points out another important advantage: Community spirit. Berkley is CEO and Senior Provost of Touro University-Nevada, a non-profit, private, Jewish sponsored institution of higher learning focused on training healthcare professionals. “The people of Henderson have tremendous pride not only in themselves,” she says, “but also in the city in which they live and in which they are raising their families.”
And that’s why Berkley is adamant about Henderson’s prospects. “I can’t think of a location I’d rather be expanding my university than here in Henderson. I feel that we are part of a giant family. We are appreciated and we are valued.”
So, bring on the robots. Henderson is ready.