"We must recognize we have a labor mismatch and invest in reskilling."

Future 50 Class of 2020

Josh Harrison

President, Improving–Columbus

About: At technology management and consulting firm Improving–Columbus, Josh Harrison’s primary responsibilities are business development, talent acquisition and building and sustaining trust within the company and information technology community. He joined Improving in 2012 as vice president of consulting and helped the consulting team grow revenue from $1.5 million to more than $5 million.

Under his leadership, the firm is a practitioner of “conscious capitalism,” which is rooted in a purpose beyond profit and creating value for all stakeholders with whom Improving interacts. That includes investors, employees, customers, vendors, nonprofits, community groups and the environment. Prior to joining Improving, he held a number of roles with technology and advisory firms including Leading Edje and Avanade, a division of Accenture.

Outside of work: Harrison is on the leadership team for the Conscious Capitalism Columbus chapter. He serves on the boards of Gladden Community House, Columbus Metropolitan Club and Columbus State Community College Foundation.

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “Columbus has an astonishingly high rate of poverty at over 20 percent, almost double the national average. Whether it is new citizens moving to the city or those already here, we must recognize we have a labor mismatch and invest in reskilling. For us to grow into a Smart City, we will need to come together and coordinate to take on this challenge directly.”

Harrison’s idea: “Reskilling our labor force will be the great challenge and opportunity for Columbus going forward. As a group, there are three things we can do: Private companies can communicate what jobs are needed now and in the future; taking the input from the private sector, educational and training providers to design flexible programs to augment traditional approaches; and those in the social sector can help by supporting students.”

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