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By Zoë Baird America's most successful political leaders have always shared a key ingredient—an optimistic vision for our country's future. Our nation's most respected presidents have been those who offered hope to millions of Americans at times when they had little to none. From FDR whose New Deal vision brought Americans out of the Great Depression and into a new age of vitality, to Ronald Reagan whose 'Morning in America' propelled the country forward following a decade of economic stagnation, candidates can raise the national conversation to what is possible and the heights we can reach as a people. We now face the greatest time of change in our economic life since the Industrial Revolution. Across the country, Americans are discouraged by stagnant incomes, and uncertainty about their future as the forces of globalization and technology continue to pummel everything familiar to them. Driving America forward—especially during times of economic change is never an easy job—but our best leaders have always leveraged our enormous assets as a country with the power of optimism and hope to lay out a path for a better future. Today, we need that more than we have in decades. Read More
By Dorothy Stoneman It’s no secret a skills mismatch is holding back American businesses and jobseekers. Millions in this country remain out of work or underemployed, yet more than 5 million jobs remain unfilled in the U.S. Some 45 percent of employers say a lack of skills is the leading reason for entry-level vacancies, according to a recent McKinsey survey. Meanwhile, there are nearly 6 million young men and women ages 16 to 24 who are currently unemployed and out of school who have the potential to fill these jobs. This demographic is lately called “opportunity youth” because they are both seeking opportunity as well as offering an opportunity to society if we invest in them. Many face challenges such as being born into poverty, leaving high school without a diploma, and/or having criminal records for minor offenses. Faced with these realities, what can our nation do to repair our broken labor market and better match all Americans with opportunities? One solution is simple: invest in all of our talent. As the CEO of YouthBuild USA Inc., which serves as the national support center for a network of over 260 local YouthBuild programs, I know the power of working with young adults who desperately seek a chance to break the chains of poverty. Not only do young adults lift themselves up when treated with respect, love, and offered a proven comprehensive approach, but whole communities are lifted up with them. YouthBuild graduate Michael Donnelly is a moving illustration. Michael became a father when he was only a junior in high school. He subsequently dropped out and worked odd jobs to support his family, but became gang-involved, and ended up sentenced to three months in county jail. The judge, recognizing the value of a second chance, allowed Michael to participate in the local YouthBuild while he served his time. In the 15 years since he completed the comprehensive education, job training, community service, and leadership development program at YouthBuild, he has served as street/gang outreach worker, youth interventionist for a public school, and now adviser to the police department on community relations. His three teenage sons are succeeding in school and college. Read More By Dorothy Stoneman is CEO and founder of YouthBuild USA Inc., member of Rework America, and co-author of America’s Moment: Creating Opportunity in the Connected Age.
Reid Hoffman, Zoë Baird, James Manyika, and Byron Auguste at WorldAffairs 2015 "On My Mind" Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird joined leading thinkers for a discussion on technology, jobs, and the challenge of the shrinking middle class. Convened by the World Affairs Council, and hosted by Reid Hoffman, James Manyika, and Jane Wales, the off-the-record roundtable discussion was followed immediately by an on-the-record report-out taped for broadcast on the World Affairs Council’s weekly National Public Radio Show. The show was produced by KQED-FM and hosted by Jane Wales, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and CEO of the World Affairs Council. On-the-Record Report Out Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation Byron Auguste, Co-founder, [email protected] Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partner and LinkedIn Co-founder James Manyika, Director, McKinsey Global Institute Jane Wales, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and CEO of the World Affairs Council
By Zoë Baird and Governor John Hickenlooper Colorado will soon introduce “Rework America Connected,” an online jobs platform that combines skills training with a digital labor market. Colorado is on the road to recovery from an historic recession and no where is that more evident than in its technology, healthcare and skill trades sectors. In fact, this week’s second Annual Talent Pipeline Report highlights these industries as some of the fastest growing in Colorado, offering the most prospects for those looking for meaningful work. Openings for physician assistants, mechanics and electricians and computer support specialists – many that require a specific skill set but not necessarily a college diploma – are presenting new opportunities to workers across the state. Read More
Connecting to Opportunity in a Digital World In order for higher education institutions and their graduates to thrive in the economy of the future, we need to collectively tackle the global “skills gap” issue. Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird and LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue describe how Markle is working with LinkedIn and higher education to solve this challenge by using data and networks to better connect job seekers to opportunity.
Advancing Pathways to EmploymentThis panel will address questions submitted by attendees in advance of the session. Markle Senior Director Wan-Lae Cheng describes how Markle will bring together jobseekers, employers, and educational providers through a skills-based digital labor market. The panelists, from top foundations around the country, will expand upon their approach and philosophy to address the growing divide between supply and demand. Panelists:Wan-Lae Cheng, Senior Director, Markle Foundation Gayatri Agnew, Director, Career Opportunity, Walmart Foundation Carol D’Amico, EVP Philanthropy, USA Funds Alyson Wise, Senior Associate, Rockefeller Foundation Stan Litow, VP Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM Whitney Smith, Senior Program Director, Joyce Foundation Moderator: Martin Scaglione, President & CEO, Hope Street Group
Rework America member Phillip Zelikow opens Aspen Institute Senate Socrates 2015 with a talk on America's Moment. The book is jointly authored by a diverse group of 56 American leaders convened under the Markle Foundation's Rework America Initiative. Zelikow will describe how the book aims to reset the national conversation about economic change, jobs, inclusion and prosperity at this transformational moment. He is joined in conversation by best-selling author James Fallows on how America’s economy must adapt to the digital revolution. Speakers:Phillip Zelikow, White Burkett Miller Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in History, University of Virginia James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic
By Zoë Baird If it was functioning well, the American labor market would do a reasonably good job of matching Americans to opportunities. Employers would be able to signal what skills they need. Job applicants would be able to signal clearly what they can do. Educators and trainers would respond quickly to gaps. But the American labor market does not work nearly as well as it should. Credentials are out of date and often not very meaningful to employers. Job applicants have trouble knowing what skills are desired and finding flexible ways to learn them. Educators and trainers are out of sync with a fast-changing economy. Read More
Too many Americans face an uncertain economic future. The question for them is not just about the next job, but whether or not they will have the skills needed to maintain a career going forward. Technology and globalization are altering nearly every aspect of our working lives. Americans see the transformation happening, but don’t feel equipped to handle it. And that is not their fault: our economy is changing, but our labor markets and our institutions are not keeping pace. The impacts of this change are felt by employers and jobseekers alike. It’s a discordant and disturbing reality that many employers can’t fill the jobs they have even though at the same time many Americans can’t find better work. More than half of all American employers say a lack of skilled workers is the reason so many jobs remain unfilled. And as these jobs keep changing, career growth will require continual skill growth. This mismatch is a key reason why so many of our nation’s middle-skill workers feel the strain. The challenge before our country is how we can make sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed in this rapidly changing 21st century economy. This is an issue leaders from all sectors must continue to focus on, which is why I was so glad to join with others to discuss potential solutions at Techonomy Detroit last month.
The Next 25 Years of the Global Economy Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird joined Steve Case, Richard Dobbs, Tom Friedman, and Robert Steel to discuss what the future might hold for America in the global economy. The group touched on global growth over the next 25 years; the future of jobs and income inequality; national leadership in the global economy and the role of the U.S., China, Japan, and Europe; and whether Americans will continue to be the consumer of last resort in the global economy. Tom Friedman, Steve Case, and Zoë Baird talk about the U.S. in the global economy. Participants: Zoë Baird, CEO & President, Markle Foundation Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution LLC; Founder and Partner, Revolution Growth; Co-Founder, America Online; Chairman, UP Global; Chairman, Case Foundation Richard Dobbs, Director, McKinsey Global Institute Tom Friedman (Panel Moderator), Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, The New York Times Robert Steel, CEO Perella Weinberg Partners; former Deputy Mayor New York City; former CEO, Wachovia; former Under Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury; member of Rework America
Skill Development for a Global WorkforceThis panel will consider how to equip the world's population with the kinds of skills competencies needed to produce sustainable economic growth in the 21st Century. What lessons can the U.S. education system learn from global trends in workforce development, and what lessons can the American system share with the world? Markle Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Robert Khedouri shares American examples on how new technologies and partnerships can be used to better support jobseekers, employers, and educational providers. Panelists:Robert Khedouri, Markle Foundation Vicente Fox, former President, Mexico José Figueres, former President, Costa Rica Sir James Mancham, founding President, Seychelles
The Right Tech for the Job: Closing the GapAs the economy shifts ever-more rapidly, matching people and their skills with jobs becomes a huge social challenge. We need better training, better awareness of opportunities, and more flexibility on the part of employers. Companies are desperate for appropriate talent, but emerging systems suggest that tech could help bring people and jobs together more productively. Markle Senior Director Wan-Lae Cheng shares how Markle is working on an initiative to use new technologies and programs to better connect and support jobseekers, employers, and educational providers through a skills-based digital labor market. Panelists:Wan-Lae Cheng, Markle Foundation Matt Anchin, Monster Charlene Li, Altimeter Group Moderator: Martha Laboissiere, McKinsey & Company