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President Obama appointed Beth F. Cobert as Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management on July 10, 2015. She came to OPM from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she served as the Deputy Director for Management and the U.S. Chief Performance Officer starting in October 2013. At OMB, she led the efforts to drive the President’s Management Agenda to make government more effective and efficient so it can deliver better, faster, and smarter services to citizens and businesses. She oversaw the government’s performance, procurement, and financial management offices, as well as the Office of the Chief Information Officer. Under Cobert’s leadership, the Administration made progress on efforts to modernize the management of Federal information technology, improve citizen-facing services and strengthen cybersecurity across federal systems. When Cobert joined OPM in 2015, her key priority was addressing the major cyber intrusion of the Office of Personnel Management that compromised personal information of over 20 million people. During her leadership, OPM made significant progress by embracing new tools and technology and doubling down on the agency’s focus on customer service and cybersecurity. At OPM, she also led initiatives to improve employee engagement, enhance the Senior Executive Service (SES), and recruit and retain a talented and diverse Federal workforce. Before joining the Federal government, Cobert worked for nearly 30 years at McKinsey & Company as a Senior Partner in their New York and San Francisco offices. She worked with clients across a range of sectors, including financial services, health care, real estate, telecommunications, and philanthropy. She led major projects to improve performance through process streamlining, enhanced customer service, improved use of technology, more effective marketing programs, and strengthened organizational effectiveness. Over the course of her career, Cobert led McKinsey’s initiatives on staff recruitment, training and development and championed efforts to support the advancement of women into leadership positions. Cobert also previously served as a Board member and Board Chair of the United Way of the Bay Area, as a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council and as a Trustee of the San Francisco Ballet. Cobert received a bachelor’s degree in economics with high honors from Princeton University in 1980 and an MBA from Stanford University with honors in 1984. She and her husband, Adam Cioth ‘81 have two children and currently reside in Denver, CO.
New York – Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird today announced the appointment of Beth Cobert, former Acting Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and a long-time leader at McKinsey & Company, as Chief Executive Officer of Skillful. Cobert will lead the Foundation’s work to enable all Americans to keep up with the transformations automation is bringing to jobs in the digital economy. Her appointment follows a nation-wide search for a strategic leader to oversee Skillful’s state-based efforts to create a labor market that values each individual’s skillset and provides them with opportunity for a meaningful career path. “Beth is an extraordinary leader for our effort to enable anyone with a smart phone to have a smart career,” said Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird. “Beth has a proven track record, both in the public and private sectors, managing large, complex, and transformational initiatives. She knows how to bring together diverse stakeholders to create systemic change. She offers unparalleled business acumen, and expertise in recruitment, hiring practices and information technology. I am delighted Beth has agreed to join us to take on this critical challenge of our time.” Skillful, now in its second year of operation in Colorado, is a central part of Markle’s economic work to connect American workers to good paying middle-skill jobs. Skillful is particularly focused on empowering the nearly seven out of ten Americans who don’t have a four-year college degree but have great skills needed in today’s job market. There are millions of available jobs across America going unfilled, many of which call for skills that can be demonstrated or developed through apprenticeships, coding camps, and online training courses. Along with partners Markle, LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, and many others, Skillful is giving Americans access to opportunity by prioritizing skills and removing barriers that keep many talented people from applying for in-demand jobs. It is leveraging data and technology tools to ensure workers can find training and support to prepare them for the growth jobs in their community; supporting employers in implementing skills-based hiring practices that can open up their talent pool ; and aligning employers and educators so that training programs teach to the skills that are in demand. “In an economy where automation, artificial intelligence, and other technological developments are transforming jobs at an incredibly rapid pace, we need new pathways to opportunity and we need them now,” said Beth Cobert. “Too many Americans have been shut out as traditional categories of employment and ways of getting training have evolved. I cannot think of a more pressing challenge than helping Americans acquire the skills they need to compete in today’s workplace. I look forward to building on the impressive work already undertaken by the Markle Foundation and the Skillful team.” Cobert will work with senior Markle leadership, including Skillful’s Colorado Executive Director Andi Rugg, to lead the effort to help many more job seekers and employers in the state, as well as to expand Skillful beyond Colorado. She will develop and manage new locations that adopt the Skillful model and identify the infrastructure needed to achieve sustainability. Cobert also will work closely with Denis McDonough, President Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff who joined Markle in February to pursue the federal and state policy changes required to enable workers and employers to thrive in the digital economy. Beth’s private sector business expertise, particularly in the technology sector, will be an asset to Skillful as the team works closely with employers in Colorado and beyond to adopt skills-based hiring practices that take advantage of our nation’s best asset: our skilled and talented workforce. Cobert has extensive experience in workforce issues. As Acting Director of OPM she oversaw efforts to recruit and retain a talented and diverse federal workforce. She was brought into OPM to respond to a major cyber intrusion that compromised the personal information of more than 20 million people. Prior to OPM, she served as Deputy Director for Management and U.S. Chief Performance Officer in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). At OMB, she led efforts to modernize IT systems, improve public-facing services, strengthen cybersecurity across federal systems, and improve employee engagement. Her distinguished public sector career followed nearly thirty years at McKinsey & Company where she led the firm’s Global Marketing and Sales practice and served as a co-leader of the Global Social Sector practice. Cobert managed organizational strategies for corporate, not-for-profit and government entities across a range of sectors including financial, health care, real estate and philanthropy. Over the course of her career at McKinsey she led initiatives on staff recruitment, training and development and championed efforts to support the advancement of women into leadership positions. Cobert previously served as a board member and chair of the United Way of the San Francisco Bay Area and as a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University. Media contact Lisa MacSpadden or Chris Valens at 212-713-7632 or [email protected] About MarkleThe Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of information technology as a breakthrough tool for some of the nation’s most challenging problems. It leads a broad collaboration to Rework America to create good jobs and prepare people for today’s rapidly changing digital economy. Markle’s Skillful initiative is returning economic opportunities to Americans without a college diploma. For more information, visit markle.org, Skillful.com and follow @MarkleFdn and @JoinSkillful on Twitter.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies convened a hearing “Examining Federal Support for Job Training Programs.” Subcommittee Members include: Tom Cole (R-OK), Chairman Steve Womack (R- AR), Vice Chair Rosa DeLauro (D- CT), Ranking Member Witnesses: Zoë Baird CEO and President, Markle Foundation Douglas J. Besharov Professor, University of Maryland School of Public Policy; Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council Dr. Demetra Smith Nightingale Institute Fellow, Urban Institute Read Testimony
[View the story "The National Association of Workforce Boards Forum 2017" on Storify]
Travis Little, a 33 year old resident of Loveland, Colorado, attended a Skillful workshop in search of a career path that would enable him to put his skills as a mechanical engineer to use in another industry. After losing a good job when the oil and gas industry experienced a downturn, he found himself working as a pizza delivery driver to make ends meet. Through Skillful, he learned about training opportunities in advanced manufacturing and signed up with Skillful career coaches. They helped him explore jobs, polish his resume, and apply for funding for training to work as a machinist. Travis thanks Skillful for helping him find a path to learn new skills so he can get ahead in today’s economy. Visit Skillful.com
Bylo Farmer recently decided it was time for a new career. She had a bachelor’s degree in recreation management, but had been out of the field for more than 20 years. She wanted to start over in something fresh and exciting. She had heard a lot about advanced manufacturing as a growing industry in Colorado that offered good jobs, and she decided to sign up for courses at her local community college. During her first week of classes at Front Range Community College she learned about a Skillful Women in Manufacturing luncheon in Denver where she learned about Skillful and all it had to offer. “Going to that luncheon opened up doors I might have missed,” said Bylo Farmer. “I joined the Women in Manufacturing professional group and also signed up for Skillful coaching.” Shortly after the event, Skillful career coach Sara Robertson reached out to Bylo. “Coaching from Sara opened up another resource for me — how to set up my LinkedIn account and how to best leverage my resume to gain employment,” said Bylo. Bylo continued her classes at FRCC and after finishing two classes in precision machining, she received her certification and began applying for jobs. Sara continued to help Bylo improve her resume and LinkedIn profile, as well as prep for interviews. “The last time I wrote a resume was 15 years ago! So Sara's "second eye" and suggestions really helped me land my first job.” A local company that manufactures precision medical devices soon hired Bylo, who says she couldn’t be happier! She credits Skillful and the coaching she received for helping her throughout her journey. “Everything about Skillful was beyond great — for someone coming into a completely new field and not having had to look for a job in the last 15 years. I got amazing support and advice.” Visit Skillful.com
New York – Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird today announced the appointment of Denis McDonough as Senior Principal at the Markle Foundation. McDonough will engage in Markle’s work to scale a skills-based labor market that enables all Americans to succeed in a dramatically changed workforce that requires new skills for the digital economy. McDonough served as White House Chief of Staff for President Obama’s second term. Prior to being named Chief of Staff, he served as the White House Deputy National Security Advisor. McDonough’s distinguished career includes working as a senior foreign policy advisor to Senator Tom Daschle and as legislative director to Senator Ken Salazar. “In his role as Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, and during his years of work in Congress, Denis gained unparalleled insights into the profound changes the digital economy has ushered in,” said Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird. “He understands that while there has been enormous growth and prosperity for many, millions of others have experienced years of flat wages, or worse, they’ve seen their jobs disappear as automation has transformed sector after sector. Most vulnerable are the almost 70% of Americans who do not have a college degree. Denis is a highly regarded leader who has managed complex problems and diverse partnerships. His contribution will be invaluable as we work to provide access to opportunities for all Americans, and to create impact at a national scale.” A central part of Markle’s economic work is Skillful, a partnership with Markle, LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, Arizona State University, and others. Skillful aims to transform America’s outdated labor market to reflect the needs of the digital economy that puts a new emphasis on skills, which can come from many sources including certificate programs, boot camps, on-line training, community college and college courses. Skillful is providing transparency for workers around the skills they have or the skills they need, and where they can find the training and support to be competitive. It is helping employers find the talent they need to grow, and providing insights to educators to help them train people in the skills required to compete in today’s economy. McDonough will work with Markle’s team to design and develop a strategy to scale Skillful and develop partnerships with others who are leading efforts to expand opportunities for Americans to learn and train for the work of the future. McDonough will look at critical national and local policy supports needed to enable workers to thrive in the digital economy, including in Colorado, where Skillful launched last year, and in other states as Skillful grows. He also will help Markle with its national search for a CEO to lead Skillful. “If more Americans are to succeed in today’s economy, we need new ideas,” said Denis McDonough. “Traditional categories of employment, ways of getting training, and the relationship between employers and workers are continually evolving, and we need to connect Americans to the jobs where trained workers are in demand. I am honored to join with Zoë Baird and the Markle team in their effort to ensure that models such as Skillful can help U.S. workers across the country.” Survey results from a national study by The Pew Research Center, in collaboration with Markle, found the economy and jobs to be top of mind with Americans, with 65% of respondents saying they think good jobs are difficult to find where they live and 87% of respondents saying it is essential or important to continually train and learn new skills to keep up with changes in the workplace. “Americans recognize the importance of skills and training,” said Baird. “But they can’t do it alone. They need pathways to demonstrate their skills and to learn new skills. The challenge of our time is to make sure all Americans can benefit from the wave of digital revolutions that have upended modern life.”Media contact Lisa MacSpadden or Chris Valens at 212-713-7632 or [email protected] About MarkleThe Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of information technology as a breakthrough tool for some of the nation’s most challenging problems. It leads a broad collaboration to Rework America to create good jobs and prepare people for today’s rapidly changing digital economy. Markle’s Skillful initiative is returning economic opportunities to Americans without a college diploma. For more information, visit markle.org, Skillful.com and follow @MarkleFdn and @JoinSkillful on Twitter.
From February 2013 until January 20, 2017, McDonough served as White House Chief of Staff for President Obama. In that role, McDonough managed the four thousand member White House staff, as well as Cabinet Secretaries and agency leaders. He provided strategic advice to the President on the most significant domestic policy, national security, and management issues facing the federal government and enforced plans and accountability for performance and goals, maintaining the Obama Administration’s reputation for effective, ethical operation. He planned and coordinated efforts to recruit and retain key talent—including an unprecedented expansion of technology experts, engineers, and content generators within the White House and across the federal government. Prior to his role as Chief of Staff, from September 2010 until February 2013, McDonough served as Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor. He chaired the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee, leading a multiagency team to address complex national security challenges, including crisis management as well as policy decisions related to the Iran nuclear negotiations, strategic arms reductions talks with Russia, the United States re-balance to Asia, the Afghanistan surge, and the Iraq drawdown. Throughout the 2008 Presidential campaign, McDonough served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor for Obama for America. Prior to his eight-year tenure in the White House, McDonough served in senior leadership and policy-making positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, as Professional Staff Member on the International Relations Committee, and in the U.S. Senate, for the Senate Majority Leader and for Senator Ken Salazar (CO). McDonough received his B.A., summa cum laude, from St. John’s University (MN) and his M.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He lives in Maryland with his wife and three children.
A video from Markle and Microsoft on creating a skills-based labor market. Visit Skillful to learn more.
New York - The Markle Foundation today congratulated entrepreneur Joel Hyatt and the team at Globality on this week’s launch of the Silicon Valley based start-up, of which Markle is a founding shareholder. Globality has created a business-to-business marketplace to help connect smaller companies with some of the world’s largest corporations, using artificial intelligence and the expertise of industry veterans to unlock opportunities and to open markets. “Platforms like Globality have the power to drive change to expand economic opportunity for more American small and medium sized businesses,” said Markle CEO and President Zoe Baird. “Globality has the potential to have real impact on the global marketplace.” Globality’s mission to leverage globalization to help more people connect to a dynamic global economy was inspired by Markle, and addressed in Rework America’s collectively authored book, America’s Moment: Creating Opportunity in the Connected Age, released by W.W. Norton & Company in 2015. Markle convened Rework America, a collective of more than 50 national leaders, to advance transformative strategies and scalable solutions to create opportunities for all Americans in today’s rapidly changing global, digital economy. In America’s Moment, they called for creating platforms to become the intermediaries to help American businesses compete on the global stage, especially small companies that don’t know where to start. In the third chapter, Connect to a World of Buyers, the Rework America authors promote a strategy that brings the world of buyers to America’s desktops and tablets in order to help Americans explore new markets. Globality is moving this idea forward by enabling sellers—the small and medium sized service providers— to expand their customer base in new markets while buyers—large corporations—get access to a network of vetted service providers, as well as efficiencies that help reduce costs. Rework America members have undertaken many impactful efforts to increase access to opportunities in the digital age. The initiative inspired the innovative Starbucks - ASU College Achievement Plan that provides access to an online college education at ASU for thousands of Starbucks employees. Rework America also led to the creation of Skillful.com, a partnership among Markle, LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, Arizona State University and others to create and scale a skills-based labor market. Other efforts in which Markle has engaged with its Rework America members include collaboration with the Aspen Institute Future of Work on policy changes for the workplace and workforce, and an effort with the MIT Center for Digital Business to develop a framework to better measure the economy. Media contact Lisa MacSpadden or Chris Valens at 212-713-7632 or [email protected] About Markle The Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of information technology as a breakthrough tool for some of the nation’s most challenging problems. It leads a broad collaboration to Rework America to create good jobs and prepare people for today’s rapidly changing digital economy. Markle’s Skillful initiative is returning economic opportunities to Americans without a college diploma. For more information, visit markle.org, Skillful.com and follow @MarkleFdn and @JoinSkillful on Twitter.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Purdue President Mitch Daniels crisscrossed the country over the last year to ask entrepreneurs, workers, thinkers, and civic leaders how to make capitalism work for the American worker and ensure everyone has a stake in America’s success. The culmination of that work is included in two reports released by the Aspen Institute Future of Work. The first report, “The Promise of Opportunity and the Future of Work” describes how technology and global competition have modernized the American economy while also making it harder for Americans to find jobs with the wages, benefits, and skills training to get ahead. The second report, “A Policy Agenda to Restore the Promise of Work” offers a set of ideas to meet the challenge. Read Report 1 Read Report 2
Linkedin Influencer Zoë Baird For decades we’ve been telling people to get a college degree, and they’ll be able to compete for the growth jobs with higher incomes. But despite our noblest intentions, this message discredits the tremendous potential and skills of 70% of American adults who don’t have that diploma. In today’s digital economy, it’s not necessary that there be a singular path that people take to achieve a good career and lasting success. As a nation, we must chart a new course, one that provides greater prosperity and equal dignity for all Americans. The solution is the creation of a skills-based labor market that will help unleash the potential of our nation’s best asset: our skilled and talented workforce. Everyone should to be able to easily demonstrate the skills they have as well as learn new skills that they need to compete in today’s economy. Ten months ago we launched Skillful in Colorado and Phoenix. Through our work, and the work of our founding partners LinkedIn, Arizona State University, and the state of Colorado we are helping job seekers access a variety of choices to achieve lasting success; making it easier for employers to find the skilled talent they need to grow; and providing data and insights to educators to help them train people in the skills required to compete in today’s economy. Building on this effort, we recently partnered with Microsoft to develop a video that helps illuminate the importance of developing a skills-based labor market that will give American workers the opportunities they need to prosper. I encourage you to watch and share your thoughts in the comment section below. The challenge of our time is to make sure that all Americans benefit from the wave of digital revolutions that have upended modern life. It will take the leadership of many to achieve this ambitious goal, but I’m confident that together we can create a path to real opportunity for all Americans.