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Our nation’s workforce faces a critical challenge. Not since America moved from farms to factories a century ago have we seen economic change as profound as what we are living through today. The transition to the digital economy has brought tremendous opportunity for some, but it also has shattered career paths and traditional jobs and left many Americans deeply concerned about their future. Artificial intelligence and automation are transforming the workforce in unprecedented fashion. Particularly vulnerable to these changes are the nearly seven out of ten American adults who do not have a four-year college degree

To enable all Americans to succeed, we need to transition to a skills-based labor market; one that is centered on the skills job seekers have, not the degrees they have. In a time when technology is giving us more tools, efficiencies, platforms, and connections that make the way we work smarter, we should not be adhering to an antiquated labor market.

To begin to achieve a skills-based labor market that works for everyone, Markle created Skillful. In collaboration with Microsoft, LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, and local partners, Skillful is helping connect American workers to good paying middle-skill jobs by prioritizing skills and removing barriers that keep many talented people from applying for in-demand jobs. We do this by:

  • 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.



 

 

Impact

 

Skillful Stories


After high school, Ron Gallegos attended the University of Denver. But due to a financial set-back, he had to forgo formal education during his junior year in favor of full-time employment.

 


Aqua Hot Heating Systems is an advanced manufacturing company just north of Denver, Colorado that specializes in heating and cooling systems for RVs, commercial fleets, and school buses, as well as industrial and oilfield applications.

 


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.

 


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.

 

A Call to Value Skills

  • Skillful: A Clear Way Forward

    Skillful is expanding opportunities for all Americans, including those without a college degree. Our goal is to help jobseekers access a variety of choices to achieve lasting success; for employers to find the skilled talent they need to grow; and for educators to train people in the skills required to compete in today’s economy.

  • Skillful: A Clear Way Forward

    Skillful is expanding opportunities for all Americans, including those without a college degree. Our goal is to help jobseekers access a variety of choices to achieve lasting success; for employers to find the skilled talent they need to grow; and for educators to train people in the skills required to compete in today’s economy.

  • Connecting Employers With Qualified Job Seekers

    Millions of good jobs are available in the U.S. and many don’t require a college degree. Skillful connects employers looking to hire with job seekers who have the right skills.
  • Connecting Employers With Qualified Job Seekers

    Millions of good jobs are available in the U.S. and many don’t require a college degree. Skillful connects employers looking to hire with job seekers who have the right skills.

  • Adapting to a Skills-based Labor Market

    The way job seekers and employers find the right match is changing and we’re helping them connect.

  • Adapting to a Skills-based Labor Market

    The way job seekers and employers find the right match is changing and we’re helping them connect.

  • Preparing Today’s Workforce for the Jobs
    of Tomorrow

    Employers need skilled, adaptable workers as technology evolves. Skillful is helping job seekers get the training and certifications they need to advance their careers.
  • Preparing Today’s Workforce for the Jobs of Tomorrow

    Employers need skilled, adaptable workers as technology evolves. Skillful is helping job seekers get the training and certifications they need to advance their careers.

 

National Partners

 

 

Advisory Board

Penny Pritzker

  • Founder and Chairman, PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group
    U.S. Secretary of Commerce (2013-2017)

Brad Smith

  • President and CLO, Microsoft Corporation

Lisa Garcia Quiroz

  • President, Time Warner Foundation
    Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, Time Warner, Inc

Denis McDonough

  • Senior Principal, Markle Foundation
    White House Chief of Staff (2013-2017)
 

Events

  • LinkedIn Speaker Series:
    Allen Blue and Zoë Baird

    July 27, 2016

    VP of Product Management and LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue and Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird discussed how their collaboration on Skillful is helping job seekers acquire new skills and advance their careers.

  • LinkedIn Speaker Series: Allen Blue and Zoë Baird

    VP of Product Management and LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue and Markle CEO and President Zoë Baird discussed how their collaboration on Skillful is helping job seekers acquire new skills and advance their careers.

  • Skillful in Phoenix
    April 7, 2016

    Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton joined Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird, LinkedIn Vice President of Product Management and Co-Founder Allen Blue and Arizona State University representatives as well as job seekers, employers and educators from the greater Phoenix area and Maricopa County.
  • Skillful Goes Live in Phoenix

    Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton joined Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird, LinkedIn Vice President of Product Management and Co-Founder Allen Blue and Arizona State University representatives as well as job seekers, employers and educators from the greater Phoenix area and Maricopa County.

  • Skillful in Colorado
    March 17, 2016

    Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper joined Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird and LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue as well as job seekers, employers, and educators from across Colorado.

  • Skillful Goes Live in Colorado

    Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper joined Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird and LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue as well as job seekers, employers, and educators from across Colorado.

  • Markle Joins with National Partners to Create Skills-based Labor Market in Phoenix
    June 24, 2015

    Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird joined with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow, LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue, representatives of edX, the Maricopa Community College System, and Phoenix employers to announce a partnership to help transform the labor market in the digital age.
  • Markle Joins with National Partners to Create Skills-based Labor Market in Phoenix

    Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird joined with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow, LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue, representatives of edX, the Maricopa Community College System, and Phoenix employers to announce a partnership to help transform the labor market in the digital age.

  • Markle Joins with National Partners to Create Skills-based Labor Market in Colorado
    June 23, 2015

    Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird joined with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue, edX President and COO Wendy Cebula, and Colorado educators and employers to announce a partnership to better connect and support job seekers, employers and educational providers in a skills-based labor market.

  • Markle Joins with National Partners to Create Skills-based Labor Market in Colorado

    Markle Foundation CEO and President Zoë Baird joined with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, LinkedIn Co-Founder Allen Blue, edX President and COO Wendy Cebula, and Colorado educators and employers to announce a partnership to better connect and support job seekers, employers and educational providers in a skills-based labor market.

 

Skillful Photos