Workforce Development

Catalyzing 21st Century Solutions to Expanding Talent Development and Job Quality

In 2014, the U.S. economy added more than 2.7 million jobs. However, the employment rate is the lowest in almost 30 years and low-skilled workers continue to experience poor social and economic outcomes. In 2015, the Workforce Development Working Group will convene leaders from government, business, foundations, and nonprofits to develop cross-sector strategies that equip low-income Americans with the skills needed to ascend today’s emerging career ladders.

2015 Subtopics

Sector-Specific Career Pathways

A critical challenge in workforce development is serving the needs of both workers and employers. Attendees will develop initiatives that make education and training accessible to individuals across the skill spectrum, relevant to employer needs, and effective at teaching the competencies required for career success.

Community College Graduation

Low graduate rates hinder community colleges’ ability to become an engine of upward mobility. Attendees will focus on innovative strategies and partnerships that can improve college persistence, graduate rates, and post-graduation success.

Technology and Workforce Development

Cost remains a major barrier to achieving workforce impacts at scale. Attendees will determine how to leverage technology to provide effective online education and training at a dramatically lower cost, create a holistic approach to workforce outcomes, and help individuals secure quality employment.

Investing in Employees

Low-wage and unstable jobs stunt the growth and advancement of many incumbent workers. Participants will create cross-sector approaches that help current workers advance in their careers, achieve economic self sufficiency, and improve their quality of life.

Innovative Commitments

Re-Engaging Adults Back into the Educational System

By: Cengage Learning
Partners: Smart Horizons Career Online Education; Kinexus; McDonald’s Corporation; Taco Bell Corp.; Brown Mackie College; Project Hope Alliance; SER National; Computer Systems Institute; Los Angeles Public Library
In 2013, Cengage Learning and ed2go—through Career Online High School—committed to partner with the Smart Horizons Career Online Education school district, employers in retail and food service, workforce agencies, nonprofit operators, academic institutions, and public entities to provide assistance with high school completion to 200 employees and/or prospective employees.

Reshoring IT Jobs to Bridge the Skills and Opportunity Gap

By: Per Scholas
Partners: Doran Jones
In 2014, Per Scholas and its partner committed to scale its Urban Development Center to three additional sites over three years. The partners will select cities based on the presence of anchor employer(s) representing open jobs in IT, the presence of community organizations that can facilitate candidate recruitment pipelines, and support from nonprofit, philanthropic, and municipal partners in financial, space, and operating expenses.

Creating the Blueprint of KSAs Needed for Employment

By: Business Roundtable; The Joyce Foundation; The Walmart Foundation; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc.; ACT Foundation
In 2014, Business Roundtable and its partners committed to create a Blueprint of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. The creation of this Blueprint should serve to help close the much-discussed Skills Gap, make education more relevant to jobs and careers, and ensure working learners have the information they need to make informed choices about their education and employment.

Code-to-Work Training for High-Paying Tech Jobs

By: Treehouse Island, Inc.
Partners: Worksystems Inc.; KentuckianaWorks; Girls Inc.; ChickTech; App Camp for Girls; National Center for Women & Information Technology; The Muse
In 2014, Treehouse Island, Inc. committed to partner with Workforce Investment Boards and community-based organizations to put 150,000 people back to work in high-paying tech jobs across America. Treehouse will provide quality online training for in-demand computing jobs and identify students with job-ready skills for additional training, mentoring, and career placement services. Treehouse will build partnerships with tech employers to align education with the needs of a rapidly-evolving industry.

Voices from the Meeting

Lisa Schumacher
Director of Education Strategies
McDonald’s Corporation

Lisa Schumacher, a participant in the 2014 Workforce Development Working Group, explains how investing in the talent and education of their employees is key to the success and longevity of the McDonald's brand. Read her story.

Featured Past Participants

ACT Foundation
American Association of Community Colleges
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Farmers Insurance Group
Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
Google Inc.
Intertech Plastics, Inc.
Jobs for the Future
Kaplan, Inc.
The Joyce Foundation