WASHINGTON, D.C. - South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will Friday launch a task force aimed at preparing for the effects of automation at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. The mayor's office says “Automation and the Impacts on America’s Cities” will include mayors from throughout the country.

The goal of the task force is to help cities prepare for the impact of increased mechanization and digitalization on the economy and workforce. Buttigieg, who will be the chair of the task force, says automation is already reshaping the economies of communities like South Bend, a trend that will accelerate in the coming years.

“Cities need to prepare for the profound effects of automation as it changes everything from trucking to accounting," said Buttigieg. "The very nature of work is shifting, and mayors across America have a key role to play in supporting workers who draw purpose and identity, not just income, from their role in the workplace. Rather than wait for answers from Washington, we must move proactively to help our cities prepare for the challenges—and opportunities—that automation will bring."

U.S. Conference of Mayors Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Tom Cochran says the task force will make sure growth doesn't leave workers behind.