Holden Thorp, provost at Washington University in St. Louis, is among the business, technology, labor, policy and academic leaders tapped to join the Rework America Task Force, a coalition that aims to modernize the nation’s labor market and unlock economic opportunity for American job seekers, workers and businesses.
Established by the Markle Foundation, the task force seeks to transform the nation’s labor market into a skills-driven model for the 21st century. Primary goals are to establish clear paths to quality jobs and job security for all Americans; and to advance a system that allows job seekers to identify and prepare for in-demand jobs, helps employers find and train skilled workers, and enables educators to identify and teach the skills that are most in demand.
Thorp, who is the Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor and holds appointments in both chemistry and medicine, is co-author of “Engines of Innovation — The Entrepreneurial University in the 21st Century,” a book that makes the case for the pivotal role of research universities as agents of societal change.
Thorp has published 130 scholarly articles on the electronic properties of DNA and RNA and holds 12 issued U.S. patents. He developed technology for electronic DNA chips and co-founded Viamet Pharmaceuticals and Innocrin Pharmaceuticals, which are commercializing new drugs for fungal disease and prostate cancer, respectively.
“The Rework America Task Force is ideally suited to help rethink and redesign the American labor market to benefit us all,” said Denis McDonough, chair of the task force and former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama. “This is a group of proven leaders who have come together to serve as an incubator for fresh ideas, inform state- and national-level policy discussions, and develop real-world solutions to build a smarter, modern labor market — over both the short term and long term.”
In addition to the Markle Foundaton, the Rework America Task Force is also supported by the Carnegie Corp., Microsoft Philanthropies, the Pritzker Traubert Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.