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Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird provided the keynote address at the Western Pathways Conference. Zoë discussed why everyone with a smartphone should be able to have a smart career and Markle’s work to help Americans succeed in the digital economy. Interactive Breakout: A New Way to Hire: A Hands-on Session on Skill-based Employment Practices hosted by Skillful Type: Panel Discussion Date: May 12, 2017 Time: 3:30 p.m. MT Venue: Denver, CO Panelists: Moderator: Andi Rugg, Executive Director, Skillful Colorado Jon Kinning, COO and EVP, RK Mechanical Adam Crowe, Business Services Manager, Larimer County Workforce Center Alexandra Peterson, Consultant, CareerWise Colorado View the Full Agenda
Linkedin Influencer Zoë Baird Americans are facing a workers’ paradox. Job openings are at near-record high levels1. There are 5.7 million jobs across the country right now that are unfilled2. At the same time, too many Americans are frustrated by a lack of economic opportunity. Better wages and career growth are still rarities. It’s clear that yesterday’s workforce strategies do not fit today’s economy. Everyone who has a smartphone should be able to have a smart career. A smart career requires skills that go beyond those needed in the past. While America’s transition to the digital economy has brought tremendous opportunity for some, it also has shattered traditional career paths for others. For the nearly seven out of ten Americans without a college degree, the effects of this transition are even more acute. Today, if your highest level of educational attainment is a high school diploma, there are 7.3 million fewer jobs than there were in 19893. Americans all across the country recognize that something isn’t working. In a telling poll released just before the election by the Pew Research Center in association with the Markle Foundation, 65 percent of respondents said good jobs are difficult to find where they live, and 63 percent said there is less job security now than 20 to 30 years ago4. For job-seekers, employers, and policymakers, this conundrum is more than a puzzle —it’s the most pressing economic question in recent memory. But, unlike other paradoxes, this one has a solution. It’s time for Congress and the administration to lead by rebuilding programs and incentives that can transform our labor market into one that values skills—not just traditional college degrees that are out of reach for most Americans. Almost half of today’s available jobs are still open due to a lack of skilled talent5. About half of all job openings through 2024 in the U.S. will be “middle-skill” positions6 that come with good wages7 and more potential for career growth. But many of them will demand new skills that were not required for jobs of the past. During a recent congressional hearing on job training programs at which I testified, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle spoke to how the lack of a college degree can skew the way an employer views a jobseeker — even if that candidate has the right skills for the job. As a society, we must fundamentally rethink the way we view middle-skill jobs by placing a higher value on them and the alternative training paths to prepare for them. The process for acquiring new job skills must be attainable for any American who wants them. What we need is a Smart Career Skills Campaign. Lawmakers and the administration can help ensure our workforce is prepared for this new economy by deploying financial aid resources, such as Pell Grants, for job training programs like coding boot camps and community college programs. Additionally, Congress should expand funding for apprenticeship programs, and give tax credits to businesses to make significant investments in employee training. Workforce training should also be included in any federal infrastructure spending plan so that any American who wants a job rebuilding our nation’s roads, bridges, and other vital networks can learn the necessary skills to get one. Even construction workers now need the skills to read digital records, construct 3D images, and sometimes even fly drones8. And when workers are no longer needed in construction jobs, they will need retraining programs to help them keep up with the ever-changing economy. Congress and the administration can also help provide workforce centers—which help put job-seekers on the path to career growth—with the technology tools they need to maximize their impact. And they should make government jobs data such as O*Net more robust so it is easier to identify in-demand skills. Getting more Americans onto meaningful career paths is why Markle and partners launched Skillful in Colorado last year. Skillful is integrating businesses, state government, non-profits, and educators to forge a new way of creating and accessing opportunity. Using data and technology tools, Skillful is providing transparency to help job seekers identify the skills they need for the jobs they want — and how they can get them. And it’s helping employers identify the skills they need for their business to grow, and helping educators learn which skills are in demand in their communities. Much as we did one hundred years ago to help Americans transition to the Industrial Age by inventing the high school, we need to create the systems today that support people in getting the skills needed to get good jobs in the digital economy. Then, and only then, can we solve the paradox and unlock the true potential of our nation’s best asset: our skilled and talented workforce. Zoë Baird CEO and President The Markle Foundation 1. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/16/jolts-for-january-2017-reported-by-the-bureau-of-labor-statistics.html 2. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm 3. https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/Americas-Divided-Recovery-web.pdf 4. https://www.markle.org/sites/default/files/State-of-American-Jobs.pdf 5. See “United States” bar in the “Interactive Talent Shortage Explorer Tool” available at: http://www.manpowergroup.com/talent-shortage-explorer/#.WO0JeWnyt9M 6. http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/resources/publications/2017-middle-skills-fact-sheets/file/United-States-MiddleSkills.pdf 7. http://burning-glass.com/wp-content/uploads/BRIDGE_THE_GAP_REBUILDING_AMERICAS_MIDDLE_SKILLS.pdf 8. https://www.whirlwindsteel.com/blog/bid/406699/5-ways-the-construction-industry-has-changed-in-20-years
The labor market has changed and Americans need new skills and pathways to opportunity in the digital economy.This hearing will explore how America builds an economy that generates better jobs for workers and promotes small business growth. Democratic Caucus Members include: Nancy Pelosi (D- CA), Minority Leader Joe Crowley (D-NY), Chairman Linda T. Sanchez (D- CA), Vice Chair Witnesses: Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation Brad Markell, Executive Director, Industrial Union Council, AFL-CIO Aneesh Chopra, President, NavHealth, and Founder, Hunch Analytics Jared Bernstein, Senior Advisor, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Todd Tucker, Fellow, Roosevelt Institute Read Testimony On April 4, 2017, Zoë Baird testified before The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies about training workers for today’s jobs. In her testimony she called for new systems to support Americans through the transition to a digital economy. Learn more here.
Beth Cobert was appointed in April 2017 as Chief Executive Officer of Skillful, an initiative of the Markle Foundation. Skillful is a central part of Markle’s work to transition to a skills-based labor market that puts Americans on better career paths by focusing on the skills needed for today’s jobs. Beth is leading Markle’s collaboration with employers, educators, state government, and others to help job seekers keep up with the transformations automation and technology are bringing to jobs in the digital economy. Before joining Skillful, Beth served as Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management under President Obama. When Beth joined OPM in 2015, her key priority was addressing the major cyber intrusion of the Office of Personnel Management that compromised personal information of more than 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. 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. Under Beth’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. Before joining the Federal government, Beth 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 also championed efforts to support the advancement of women into leadership positions and was one of the first to pursue a part-time program and be elected Senior Partner while working part-time. Beth 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. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), the world’s leading commercial real estate services and investment company. Beth 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 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.