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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 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 - 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.
Providing Opportunity in the Digital Economy:A video from Markle and Microsoft on creating a skills-based labor market. The defining challenge of our time is ensuring that all Americans are included in the benefits of the digital economy. After more than a decade of work in health and national security, the Markle Foundation has created Skillful to help restore the American Dream by expanding opportunities for better employment and broadening the ways Americans learn and train for the work of the future. Skillful, a partnership among the Markle Foundation, LinkedIn, and the state of Colorado, provides transparency around the skills a job seeker has, the skills a job seeker needs, and where he or she can find training and support to get on the path to a good job. Skillful knits together online and on-the-ground resources that empower a job seeker to own his/her path to success, with personal coaching assistance to help them achieve their goals. Learn more about SkillfulVisit Skillful.com
“Our nation seeks major change, and the next president can set in motion a transformative initiative to expand digital economy jobs and dramatically reshape how the government operates.” —Zoë Baird Government For A Digital Economy—In A Time Of Deeply Intertwined Economic And National Security Imperatives By Zoë Baird The private sector is transforming at record speed for the digital economy. As recently as 2008, when America elected President Obama, most large companies had separate IT departments, which were seen as just that—departments—separate from the heart of the business. Now, as wireless networks connect the planet, and entire companies exist in the cloud, digital technology is no longer viewed as another arrow in the corporate quiver, but rather the very foundation upon which all functions are built. This, then, is the mark of the digital era: in order to remain successful, modern enterprises must both leverage digital technology and develop a culture that values its significance within the organization. For the federal government to help all Americans thrive in this new economy, and for the government to be an engine of growth, it too must enter the digital era. On a basic level, we need to improve the government’s digital infrastructure and use technology to deliver government services better. But a government for the digital economy needs to take bold steps to embed these actions as part of a large and comprehensive transformation in how it goes about the business of governing. We should not only call on the “IT department” to provide tools, we must completely change the way we think about how a digital age government learns about the world, makes policy, and operates against its objectives. Government today does not reflect the fundamental attributes of the digital age. It moves slowly at a time when information travels around the globe at literally the speed of light. It takes many years to develop and implement comprehensive policy in a world characterized increasingly by experimentation and iterative midcourse adjustments. It remains departmentally balkanized and hierarchical in an era of networks and collaborative problem solving. It assumes that it possesses the expertise necessary to make decisions while most of the knowledge resides at the edges. It is bogged down in legacy structures and policy regimes that do not take advantage of digital tools, and worse, create unnecessary barriers that hold progress back. Moreover, it is viewed by its citizens as opaque and complex in an era when openness and access are attributes of legitimacy. Download the Chapter
Speakers: Faiza Issa, Director, Markle Foundation Terry Boehm, President, Pinellas Education Foundation Michael Simpson, CEO, PAIRIN Sally Smyth, Director of Community Finance and Impact, TechHire Moderator: Albert Palacios, Education Program Specialist, U.S. Department of Education Data at Work: Empowering the Nation's Workforce to Determine Their Economic Future As our economy changes, the imperative to expand access to better jobs, training opportunities, and the career tools is stronger than ever. The Obama Administration is addressing this challenge head on with its focus on empowering students through The Reach Higher Initiative and tech talent pipelines through TechHire. Beyond the federal government’s work, Initiatives like the Markle Foundation’s Skillful are working at the intersection of employers, jobseekers and educators to provide tools and data that will help navigate career options. Come hear how we’re opening data and developing tools to help our next generation workforce navigate the resources they need to thrive.