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Not everyone takes a traditional route to a college degree that will prepare them for the workforce. John Yang talks with Nicole Smith of Georgetown University and Beth Cobert of the Markle Foundation about alternatives to help young adults and returning students find their ways to the middle class and help close the skilled worker gap.
Beth Cobert, I know your organization works with employers. Are you working with the employers to try to get them to look for skills, rather than credentials?
That’s right. We are working with employers to get them to think about skills and credentials.
What do you really need to do a job? What do you need start on that job? And what are some of the skills that can be trained while you’re there? We found in our work with employers that, when they think about that way, when they distinguish between what’s required and what’s preferred, it opens up the labor pool to a variety of candidates who might — they might have thought — not have thought about for those roles.
So it creates opportunities for individuals to get to the good jobs that Nicole is describing, and to be able, once they’re there, to advance in those organizations with good wages and good jobs.