- CEO and President, Markle Foundation
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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:
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.