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Air Date: 07/11/2018 In this special episode, recorded live at FORUM 2018, Ron Painter, President/CEO of the National Association of Workforce Board (NAWB) is joined by Beth Cobert, CEO of Skillful. Discover the importance of building a skills-based labor market and the efforts that Skillful has been taking to achieve that goal Courtesy of National Association of Workforce Board
About the Markle Foundation: The Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of technology to achieve breakthroughs in addressing some of the nation’s most pressing issues. Markle challenges itself and diverse partners to deploy their varied expertise to identify solutions and achieve systemic change. Today as advanced technology and automation change the very nature of work, Markle’s priority is advancing solutions towards a skills-based labor market that will enable Americans to transition to the opportunities of the digital economy. Markle’s workforce initiatives include Skillful and the Rework America Task Force. They follow Markle’s success in creating the policy and technology architecture that has enabled improvements in healthcare, national security, and access to the Internet. Job Summary: The Markle Foundation is an entrepreneurial and innovative organization with a graphically dispersed team that is committed to creating a skills-based labor market that works for all Americans. We are looking for a creative and dynamic Talent and Human Resources (HR) Manager who is passionate about building an energized, inclusive, and high-performing team. They will serve as an internal change agent, advancing the organization’s capabilities and effectiveness by creating and sustaining a culture of data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement. This includes working closely with the Foundation’s leadership to ensure that Markle has a cohesive human capital plan tied to programmatic strategic plans that enable the right capacity, capability and culture. In addition, given our vital mission around workforce development and opportunity, the Talent and HR Manager will infuse skills-based hiring and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into HR operations. The establishment of trusting relationships with leaders and employees of the Foundation is critical to this role, as is quick absorption and appreciation of Markle’s culture, processes and practices. Job Responsibilities: Provide expertise and hands-on support across all aspects of HR management, including talent acquisition, talent management, performance management, employee relations, HR operations, compensation and benefits, and relevant legal and compliance issues impacting people management. HR Strategy Work closely with the Foundation’s leaders to design and drive HR strategy and operations to meet our objectives today, and help plan for talent needs in the future. Support the organization’s strategic objectives and ensure full alignment of policies and practices related to compensation, talent pipeline and succession. This includes a strong partnership with finance on all compensation, benefits and HR legal matters. Stay abreast of best practices across all aspects of HR operations and ensure the Foundation’s administration aligns with best practices. Recruitment & Onboarding: Create an integrated HR culture and experience that attracts and retains top talent in a high performing, learning-rich environment where teams work with agility and excellence. Ensure a consistent, transparent recruiting and hiring process across the organization, incorporating skills-based practices and a DEI lens for hiring at all levels. Manage relationships with outside recruiting firms and ensure consistency and efficiency for all searches led by in-house teams. Develop an energizing and culture-reinforcing onboarding/integration program for new hires. Compensation & Benefits: In partnership with finance, support the compensation and benefits process. Work closely with our external provider in administering and automating benefits and payroll, and provide clear explanations of any changes to benefits. Performance Management & Professional Development: Establish a continuous feedback culture at all levels of the Foundation. Lead the performance management process. Create a revised process for efficient and engaging annual reviews that reflects new best practices and the needs of a larger organization. Implement creative ideas to enhance employee productivity and engagement. Establish professional development training programs and skill-building opportunities for staff members at all levels to enhance individual and collective impact. Oversee in-house employee training system to meet the organization’s needs including new employee orientation/onboarding, management development, and peer mentoring programs. Internal Communications: Communicate effectively with team members at all levels about HR strategy, direction and accomplishments. In partnership with Markle’s communications team, provide clear communication about employee related decisions and changes. Employee Relations: Establish best practices for handling HR issues, and provide coaching/training to managers on HR matters and general employee management - escalating items to leadership where required. In partnership with outside counsel, provide guidance based on knowledge of employment laws and practices to ensure all necessary legal documentation, compliance, and controls are in place. Manage the termination process, and conduct exit interviews to understand insights/trends. HR Systems & Tools: Implement HR tools and systems improvement plan; manage the development and maintenance of HR databases and automated systems, utilizing best practices to streamline HR operations. Qualifications & Experience: Demonstrated strategic focus as well as a hands-on and collaborative, team oriented approach 8+ years’ experience as an HR generalist or HR business partner, with background in talent acquisition, talent management, employee relations, employment law, and a solid understanding of compensation and benefits planning Understanding of people analytics and a strong commitment to data-driven decisions Ability to lead change, anticipate challenges, and develop innovative HR solutions at a mission driven organization Prior experience in a not-for-profit, foundation or public sector institution preferred but not essential Personal Characteristics: Discrete and trustworthy Flexible, empathetic and resilient Able to handle difficult and complex human resources issues with balance and compassion Highly energetic and confident, with ego in check Highly analytical and structured Driven; bias for (smart) action; nimble Nuanced; can connect the dots strategically Self-reflective, humble, and self-aware; naturally curious A passion for our mission Position Details: Title: Manager, Talent and Human Resources Location: New York, NY Reports to: Chief of Staff Term: Full-time Degree or Credential Requirements: None! We value candidates who can demonstrate capability and articulate how prior experiences will help them to contribute. Markle is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations and marital status.
Panelists: Zoë Baird, CEO and President, Markle Foundation John Hickenlooper, Governor, Colorado Thomas J. Wilson, Chairman and CEO, The Allstate Corporation Moderator: Gary Pinkus, Senior Partner, McKinsey and Company Closing the Skills Gap – Why the Jobs Crisis is Actually a Skills Crisis (And How to Fix It) For all the anxiety around the job-destroying potential of technology, the world is not facing a jobs crisis. The real threat is an unprecedented skills crisis. In this discussion, participants will explore the magnitude of the retraining efforts required, the economic impact at stake, and how both the private sector and the government can respond to support the workforce of the future.
In Colorado, an organization called Skillful started with the goal of building a skills-based labor market, providing more transparency around the value of education and training programs. This February, governors from 20 states, including Indiana and Virginia, joined together to form the Skillful State Network — demonstrating a shared commitment to help their states’ workers and businesses succeed in a changing economy. Efforts like these help students, workers and businesses keep pace with the changes in the economy, allowing states to build a skilled workforce. While the needs of labor markets differ across states, states have an opportunity to drive innovation that can address a national need. By piloting programs and policy solutions, states can share best practices and better equip workers across industries and regions for the jobs of the future.
In general, job seekers can access these aggregators free of charge and search for available jobs in their area. However, job openings do not translate straightforwardly into retraining paths, in part because job titles do not always match required skills or relevant degree and certificate programs. An April 2016 review of these aggregator sites in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) elucidates the issues through an interview with the dean of Macomb Community College, which has traditionally served Michigan’s auto industry (Sussman and Korn 2018). According to the authors, “When the school’s engineering dean examined thousands of local job listings, he learned manufacturers used dozens of job titles for the same mix of skills Macomb calls mechatronics—a combination of mechanics, electronics and programming.” The standardization problem highlighted by the WSJ may be acutely American, a result of higher economic dynamism and no organized standardization of job listing formats as is present in other countries. Even BLS, which publishes vacancies for the United States as a whole, does not attempt to measure the specific skill requirements of these vacancies. Some U.S. States have attempted to improve information flows by publishing their own summaries of job postings from aggregators, including an attempt to translate job postings into skill requirements. For example, a Missouri program responds to mass layoffs by providing job vacancy information from Burning Glass tailored to a displaced worker’s skill set and likely geographic mobility. More advanced State-based programs provide workers with recommended pathways to develop the skills sought by employers. Private industry is also attempting to improve standardization across job postings. Schema.org, a website co-founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex, creates and promotes “schemas” enabling data available on the internet to be presented in a more structured and organized manner. Though the host website does not cater specifically to job openings or job seekers, it offers shared vocabulary to benefit webmasters, search engines, and users. A schema for a job posting, for example, contains shared coding suggestions for occupational categories, qualifications, and skills required. Colorado’s “Skillful” initiative is also showing promising early signs. In 2016, the technology- focused Markle Foundation launched this statewide job skills program aimed at advancing “middle-skills jobs,” such as IT or advanced manufacturing, by connecting employers, State and Federal government, educators, businesses, and other key labor market players. Skillful caters to American workers who have been displaced by technological change or who lack a four-year degree and therefore face more difficulty in job transitions. With the support of Microsoft, LinkedIn, the State of Colorado, and local partners, Skillful has become an information hub for job seekers, education institutions, and employers. Skillful offers coaching and other online services to help individuals assess the value of educational or training programs, assisting individuals in determining which skills are in high demand in a specific location. Moreover, the information collection makes it possible for education institutions to better design academic programs to meet labor demand, and these tools help local employers determine the available skillset in a given area. In June 2017, Microsoft Philanthropies announced an almost $26 million investment in Skillful which would accelerate the workforce training program’s expansion into nineteen states beyond Colorado.
Spencer Overton is the President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which was founded in 1970 as the Black think tank. Currently, the Joint Center is focused on developing solutions to diversify congressional staff and to equip workers with skills to succeed in the evolving economy. Spencer chaired Government Reform Policy on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, and on the Obama transition, he served as a lawyer in the General Counsel's office and as a member of the Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform (TIGER) policy team. During the Administration, Spencer served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Policy, the “think tank” of the Department of Justice. After leaving the Department, Spencer held several roles on the 2012 Obama National Finance Committee, including teaching fundraising and chairing a fundraising program that raised $25 million. Spencer is also a tenured Professor of Law at George Washington University, where he teaches race and the law, property law, and election law. He is a co-author of 5G, Smart Cities, and Communities of Color (2017), and the author of the book Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression and several academic and popular articles. Through his work on national election law commissions, Spencer helped shape the contours of the modern voter ID debate and he led an effort that resulted in Iowa restoring voting rights to 98,000 Iowans who had completed their sentences. Spencer is an honors graduate of both Hampton University and Harvard Law School, he clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon J. Keith, and he represented large companies for four years practicing law at the firm Debevoise & Plimpton.
The Organization The Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of technology to achieve breakthroughs in addressing some of the nation’s most pressing issues. Markle challenges itself and diverse partners to deploy their varied expertise to identify solutions and achieve systemic change. Today as advanced technology and automation transform the very nature of work, Markle’s priority is advancing solutions towards a skills-based labor market that will enable Americans to transition to the opportunities of the digital economy. Markle’s workforce initiatives include Skillful and the Rework America Task Force. They follow Markle’s success in creating the policy and technology architecture that has enabled improvements in healthcare, national security, and access to the Internet. In 2013, Zoë Baird led Markle to be one of the first to rally thinkers and problem-solvers to address the transformation of the labor market by globalization and advancing technology. The initial Rework America initiative resulted in a book, America’s Moment, and the founding of Skillful, a non-profit initiative of the Markle Foundation in partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, and local partners. Skillful works on the ground implementing efforts to create a labor market in which skills are valued above all else. Skillful and its partners created a model in Colorado that states across the U.S. can adapt to help millions of Americans overcome barriers to obtaining better-paying jobs. Skillful helps employers achieve the workforce they need by providing data, tools, and resources that facilitate the adoption of skills-based hiring and training practices. Skillful enables coaches and digital services to better serve job seekers in learning what skills are in demand and how to access training at any stage of their career. At the same time, Skillful aligns employers and educators so that their training programs empower workers with the skills required to succeed in today’s economy. In September 2017, Markle formed the Rework America Task Force, a national coalition of diverse, cross-sector leaders that is defining, piloting, and advancing bold, practical, non-partisan solutions to transform America’s labor market from one largely based on traditional credentials, such as degrees and work history, to one rooted in the skills and lifelong learning valued in the digital economy. While Markle’s work has evolved through the years, its mission to meet the needs of the American people has endured. In this time of rapid technological change, the Markle Foundation is working to leverage the same forces of data and technology that are disrupting the economy to unlock economic opportunity and create paths to meaningful work for all Americans. This position presents intriguing challenges for the right individual. At its core, Markle is a private foundation. In order for the transformation of the labor market to occur, Markle has extended its reach to seek funding from others to support the operations of Skillful and the Rework America Task Force. As part of this, Markle secured a $25.8 million, three-year grant from Microsoft to support these programs. A host of other funders, both foundation and corporate have joined this effort aligned with our funding partner and fiscal sponsor for Skillful LLC, the New Venture Fund. Markle is acting as an operating entity, running its programs and is not principally a grant-maker. The Position Position Title: Chief Financial Officer Location: New York, New York Report: Zoë Baird, CEO & President The CFO is one of a first-rate team of leaders supporting the mission of Markle and serves as a key advisor to the CEO and strategic counterpart to the leadership team. Moreover, the CFO will join the team as Markle’s infrastructure evolves to meet the needs of a growing, robust organization with ambitious plans to meet its mission. To that end, the CFO will be a builder who can ensure the finance function is a strategic partner to key units, including Skillful and the Rework America Task Force. Finally, the CFO will be a critical contributor to the discussion around and development of the financial underpinning to Markle’s strategy. On a day to day basis, the CFO will manage finance broadly across all financial functions, including accounting, internal controls, budgeting & analysis, payroll and benefits, financial reporting, investments, and treasury, across the entities comprising the organization. The CFO is also responsible for IT systems, facilities, grants and contracts and partners with Human Resources in the assessment, selection and purchasing of benefits/providers and in the development of compensation practices and the compensation budget. The CFO leads a staff of approximately 6 people based in New York City. Beyond these direct responsibilities, the CFO is a member of the senior Markle leadership team and is an active contributor with his/her peers in working with the CEO to shape important foundation-level strategies and decision-making. The CFO also has substantial interaction with the Markle Board, as staff to the finance and audit committees, support for the Personnel & Compensation committee and as a participant in Board meetings. Specific Responsibilities Manage the accounting systems, processes and procedures to record, monitor and report on the organization's assets and liabilities in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles and all regulatory requirements Prepare the annual budget working collaboratively with the CEO and program leaders Ensure the processes and timely preparation of all financial statements and reporting, including regular financial statements to management, regulatory agencies and the Board Serve as the primary interface with the external auditors and Audit Partner; oversee the annual audit of the organization's financial statements and its tax returns by its external auditors on a timely basis Oversee the administration of the Foundation’s portfolio, the interactions with the custodian bank, capital calls and distributions, cash withdrawals for operations, and accounting of portfolio transactions Participate in and oversee preparations of materials for the quarterly finance committee meetings including agenda, and portfolio status reports. (Management of the investment portfolio and the selection and termination of investment managers is in the hands of the Finance Committee and a third-party advisor.) Oversee the relationships among the various legal entities that comprise the organization’s infrastructure including the Markle Foundation, Markle LLC, and Skillful LLC. Serve as the lead relationship to Skillful’s fiscal sponsor, the New Venture Fund Oversee and implement the development of budgets for grant proposals to other funders and of financial reports for grants received whether directly to Markle or via the New Venture Fund Ensure a robust financial planning and analysis function to provide real-time insights regarding organization financials, drive improvements and efficiencies across the organization, and align resources to strategy Evaluate and lead the continuous development of organizational and finance talent; serve as a bridge between the program and operations functions; directly supervise the following functions: finance, IT, grants & contracts, facilities and payroll and benefits administration Take responsibility for the Foundation’s legal affairs, working with established law firms, the Foundation’s lead lawyer and legal consultants. Legal issues arise with respect to grant, contract, MOU and funder relationships, as well as with respect to the institution’s trademarks and real estate issues. Partner with the Chief of Staff on legal issues that pertain to personnel matters, fundraising and governance/board issues Provide leadership and partnership in process assessment and redesign, automation and implementation Advise the CEO & President on developments in financial management practices and reporting, including potential and actual changes in accounting principles as well as tax, regulatory and reporting requirements The Person The Markle Foundation CFO is an experienced finance leader with a track record of building and maintaining an innovative and agile finance organization and its processes. The Markle Foundation has a proud history of clean audits and exceptional financial management. It is key that the CFO have the technical and the managerial skills to maintain this achievement, but it is also vital that s/he be able to lead greater automation of Markle’s systems and processes to drive efficiency and transparency across the foundation and program management. Qualifications & Experience S/he is a seasoned professional with expertise and strong technical knowledge in non-profit and/or foundation financial management, taxes, and systems A track-record as a hands-on, proactive and engaged partner who has contributed to strategic and operational success An individual with the agility to transition from high-level strategy projects to detailed financial line items and to translate the institution’s program aspirations into budgets and financial management systems Demonstrated success in devising and implementing a robust finance infrastructure (i.e. people, process, system upgrades /implementations). Prior experience with automated systems A track-record of setting a clear and compelling vision for a finance team members to support the institutional goals Adept at forging collaborative relationships with the operational and programmatic sides of an organization and contributing to an open, team-oriented environment The successful candidate has demonstrated well-honed strategic thinking skills and the ability to be flexible and adaptable and revise strategies as necessary Leadership & Management Behavioral Competencies Proven leadership skills, comfortable with a high level of visibility, responsibility, and accountability Experience presenting to the Board of Directors in a clear and concise style; comfortable answering probing questions and making researched and thoughtful suggestions Excellent staff and team management skills combined with a willingness to roll up one's sleeves and get the job done Demonstrated ability to drive change and results motivating teams around a set of well-articulated goals Excellent judgment of people and situations; demonstrated experience partnering across an integrated, interdisciplinary team of professionals leading through influence and example rather than hierarchy Strong listening, written and verbal communication skills; able to lead informal and formal presentations targeted at a range of audiences Personal Characteristics A collaborative leader with a passion and commitment for mission driven work Personal drive, proactive, takes initiative Exemplary levels of integrity and professionalism A balance of self-confidence and humility Markle is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations and marital status.
Indiana’s been on a major workforce development kick this year with programs like the Next Level Jobs initiative and other specialized regional and academic programs taking shape in all of the state’s major economic development sectors. Now, a new plan aims to take things even further. An interstate partnership was announced recently as part of a cumulative effort on behalf of multiple governors to bring resources together to accelerate workforce innovation. Twenty state governors, including Indiana’s, have teamed up to form the Skillful State Network, a collaboration that aims to transform the U.S. labor market into one that is skills-based where people can demonstrate or obtain skills needed for good digital economy jobs. Under this new model, value will be placed on those skills no matter where they were obtained. The network marks the national expansion of an initiative called Skillful that was created in Colorado by the Markle Foundation, a charitable organization concerned with technology, health care, and national security. The mission of Skillful is to transition the labor market into one that is skills-based – wherein a person could be deemed qualified for a position based on the skills they have, not the degree they have.
Not everyone takes a traditional route to a college degree that will prepare them for the workforce. John Yang talks with Nicole Smith of Georgetown University and Beth Cobert of the Markle Foundation about alternatives to help young adults and returning students find their ways to the middle class and help close the skilled worker gap. Beth Cobert, I know your organization works with employers. Are you working with the employers to try to get them to look for skills, rather than credentials? That’s right. We are working with employers to get them to think about skills and credentials. What do you really need to do a job? What do you need start on that job? And what are some of the skills that can be trained while you’re there? We found in our work with employers that, when they think about that way, when they distinguish between what’s required and what’s preferred, it opens up the labor pool to a variety of candidates who might — they might have thought — not have thought about for those roles. So it creates opportunities for individuals to get to the good jobs that Nicole is describing, and to be able, once they’re there, to advance in those organizations with good wages and good jobs.