Jacqueline Burandt, President of Award-Winning Results: Rethinking Employee Development

Obstacles – from language proficiency to digital literacy to family care – make it difficult for adults to get on, and stay on, an education path towards a career they desire. Our guest on this episode of WorkforceRx, Jacque Burandt, spent decades at University Health System in San Antonio, Texas, breaking down those barriers and is here to share her recipe for creating and sustaining successful upskilling and reskilling programs. As she tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, first and foremost is partnering with community organizations. Very few people have the budget to invest in lots of expensive training so employers should seek out groups that can help them out, says Burandt, who is now president of Award-Winning Results, a firm that focuses on transforming organizations through people development and gaining recognition for employees. A key benefit to these collaborations is that the community partner can often help with the “wraparound” services that make it easier for employees to attend classes. Tune in for many more tips and strategies in this wisdom drop from Jacque about getting the buy-in of supervisors, investing in awareness of the offerings, and the importance of celebrating successes so that building your own internal talent pipeline is no longer just a pipe dream.

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Ron Painter, CEO of the National Association of Workforce Boards: Helping American Workers Be Their Best

As the unprecedented misalignment in the U.S. labor market between employers and workers continues, it’s a good time to take a look at the extensive federal infrastructure in place to support people seeking jobs and skills. Millions of Americans access 2,400 American Job Centers located throughout the country and its territories every year, which are powered by a network of 500 Workforce Development Boards. On today’s episode of WorkforceRx, Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan sits down with Ron Painter, CEO of the National Association of Workforce Boards, to explore the vital role they play in advancing economic opportunity. “Workforce Boards bring together the players you need in that region — housing, transportation, economic development, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations — that’s a unique mix wherever you are. There’s a whole lot that makes that equation work.” Check out this informative discussion to learn how communities are leveraging this network to bring about economic opportunity, why local Boards need more flexibility, and to understand why Painter is optimistic about meeting the unprecedented challenges facing employers and workers.

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Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance: The Impact of Private Investment in Workforce Development

The practice of impact investing — also known as socially responsible investing – has been in place in the U.S. for decades, but more recently, a subset of that field has focused on improving economic mobility.  In this episode of WorkforceRx, Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan is joined by Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance, who is focused on reimagining the role of the capital markets in enabling economic progress. “Our societal challenges are so vast, they require more than what philanthropy and the government can give. So, increasingly, people are asking the question, “What is the role of investors in driving social change?” Tune in to learn about a new way to fund education and training called Career Impact Bonds, collaborations at the state level to support workforce development in key industries, and how these efforts are targeted at people who face significant barriers to workforce participation. This is a great opportunity to learn about innovative alternatives for funding a critical need as labor shortages continue to challenge the U.S. economy.

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Katie Nielson, Founder of EnGen: Tapping into the Hidden Workforce

As U.S. employers continue to struggle to find workers, they may want to turn their attention to populations who have the skills they need but lack proficiency in English. This describes many people in immigrant and refugee populations who are currently overlooked by employers and make up part of what is called the “hidden workforce.” On this episode of WorkforceRx, Katie Nielson, PhD, joins Futuro Health CEO Van Ton Quinlivan to describe how she works with employers to tap the potential of this talent pool. Nielson has a growing sense of urgency on this issue due to the fact that by 2030, every baby boomer will have reached retirement age and 97% of net workforce growth will be immigrants and their children.  “The biggest barrier to integration in general and, definitely to promotion and advancement in the workforce, is English skills,” she says. “If we think about English as something that we can do to help upskill our workforce, then we’ll be able to get those learners not just the English skills but also the workforce skills that they need to succeed.” Tune in to learn about Nielson’s blend of tech-enabled study and interaction, the wisdom of taking a “backwards design” approach, and how workplace-based language programs can help employers achieve goals around diversity, equity and inclusion.

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Maria Flynn, President & CEO of Jobs for the Future: Now Is the Time to Ask the Hard Questions

The combination of a unique economic moment and major new funding out of Washington is creating an opportunity to rethink workforce development policies and programs. But will the tough questions be asked that will lead to a significant reshaping of the nation’s approach? Maria Flynn, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future, is hopeful, but is not yet seeing the “blue sky redesign” discussion she thinks is necessary. “We are largely operating public systems that were designed for a different era. A lot of the conversations now are about funding but are not questioning those underlying assumptions of ‘are these the systems that we need for today and the future’? My answer to that is largely no,” says Flynn.  There’s a lot to learn in this probing conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan about transforming American education and workforce systems, the growing corporate role in education, helping employers deliver on diversity, strategies to boost innovation, taking a regional approach to economic development and much more.

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