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Microsoft-Backed Skillful Starts Indiana Program to Coach Businesses, Job Seekers on In-demand Skills

  • Date: 
    October 11, 2018

    Skillful, a Colorado-based skills training program geared toward helping more people without a college degree secure in-demand jobs, announced today that it is expanding to Indiana. Skillful was the recipient of a three-year, $25.8 million grant from Microsoft Philanthropies last year, and also received financial support from Walmart to launch an Indiana program.

    Launched in 2016, Skillful is a program of the nonprofit Markle Foundation. Its goal, according to a press release, is to “enable all Americans — particularly those without a four-year college degree — to secure good jobs in a changing economy.” It does that in a few ways: First, it puts small and mid-sized businesses through a workforce training program, where it educates them on what skills will be most important in a rapidly digitizing economy, as well as how to write better job descriptions that attract a wider variety of candidates.

    Skillful also works with so-called “career coaches” in different neighborhoods — this could be a counselor at a community college or a career advisor at nonprofits like Goodwill — to teach them about skills that are increasingly in-demand, like fluency with basic data analytics and enterprise software. LinkedIn, in its partnership with Skillful, has also provided training to career coaches in Colorado, centered around how the job seekers they work with should be credentialing themselves.

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