Microsoft and the Markle Foundation today announced that they have teamed up in a three-year partnership to help expand Markle’s Skillful initiative. Under the partnership, there is an aim to help American workers and businesses get connected in the labor market. The mainly digital driven effort all comes as some American workers are losing jobs, and as new jobs require more and more new skills, degrees, or certificates from various programs.
Microsoft Philanthropies is making a significant $25.8 million investment to expand Skillful, which brings together employers, state and federal governments, LinkedIn, educators, and workforce centers to help American workers in the ever-changing workplace. The expansion will occur in Colorado and then move to additional states, with the eventual goal of providing digital skills training for individuals, as well as learning tools for coaches, educators, and employers. Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, remarked on the partnership.
“There are 7.3 million fewer jobs in the United States today for people with a high school degree or less than there were in 1989. At the same time, 6 million jobs in our country go unfilled due in large part to a shortage of skilled workers. This mismatch is leaving workers on the sidelines and employers without the talent they need to run their operations… Skillful is building an entire ecosystem to close this gap, helping Americans find and train for better-paying jobs, while connecting employers with the talent they need to thrive in the digital economy.”