Allen Blue, Co-Founder of LinkedIn: Leveraging 900M Career Profiles for Employment Insights

It’s safe to say that nearly everyone reading this has a profile on LinkedIn or, if not, has visited it to learn about someone else’s career history. The social media giant has 900 million registered members worldwide and has become an essential tool for employers, job seekers and entrepreneurs. On this episode of WorkforceRx we’ll hear from one of LinkedIn’s founders, Allen Blue, who has stayed with the company for its entire twenty-year history and is now serving as vice president of Product Management. His areas of focus include LinkedIn’s Economic Graph, which involves sharing economic data with governments and institutions to improve education and workforce policy. “We derive insights about how skills are emerging and changing, about the landscape of education, about new technologies…and we aggregate all that data and go talk to policymakers so that governments can act.” In this thoughtful conversation with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, Blue highlights ways people can use LinkedIn to visualize a career path, how technology can be deployed to connect employers to potential workers, and the growing opportunities online to deliver education and training. “That’s something which basically didn’t exist, not in a serious way, even ten years ago. So, it’s a huge opportunity.” Whether you are an employer, job seeker, educator or looking for career advancement, there is much to learn from this social media pioneer.

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Mark Burns, Executive Director of Homebridge: Innovative Retention Strategies in Home Care

Most home care workers are women of color working more than one job, struggling to afford childcare, and doing difficult work without any prospects for advancement. It’s no wonder, then, that it’s hard to find and retain workers for these critically needed positions. Making matters worse is a competitive job market for entry level workers which means people can find less taxing positions for the same pay. That’s why today’s WorkforceRx guest, Mark Burns, is so pleased to be involved in California’s new $200 million Career Pathways program which is designed to increase wages, skill levels and career mobility for this workforce. As Executive Director of the San Francisco-based Homebridge home care agency and a key leader in the Career Pathways initiative, Burns is hoping to reach up to 250,000 Californians with paid training classes across the state. “Having any training available is fairly rare for this population, but having paid training is almost unheard of, so we’re thrilled,” he tells Van Ton-Quinlivan, CEO of Futuro Health, which is contributing asynchronous training options to the effort. On a parallel track to Career Pathways, Burns is busy transitioning Homebridge to an employment model that offers progressive wage increases as workers gain skills, with an eye on professionalizing the occupation. “People know innately that they’re adding a great deal of value that is of a professional scale that helps with people’s wellness and helps them stay stable in the community, but there’s no system of validation for that.” Don’t miss this chance for a detailed look at leading edge innovations in home care workforce development that could stabilize and improve access to care for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

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Matt Sigelman, President of The Burning Glass Institute: Connecting Skills to Opportunity

“One of the things we’ve found is that the average U.S. job has seen 37% of its skills replaced in just the last five years,” says Matt Sigelman, one of the country’s leading labor market experts. That blistering pace of change begs the question of how workers and employers are going to acquire new skills on a such a rapid and continuing basis. That’s exactly the type of challenge Sigelman and his colleagues tackle at The Burning Glass Institute, a nonprofit research center that explores data for fresh insights and tools employers, workers, educators and policymakers can use to build mobility, opportunity and equity. One such tool is a brand-new Skills Compass developed with Coursera which enables multi-dimensional evaluation of the emerging skills that will yield the most value. But Sigelman cautions against focusing just on of-the-moment-skills in favor of a more balanced approach. “You need timely skills to get on the career ladder, but you’re going to need timeless skills like critical thinking and collaboration to rise.” Join WorkforceRx host and Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan for a super informative scan of these and other key questions confronting the labor economy such as skills-based hiring, career mobility and the implications of increasingly powerful chat bots.

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Mark Milliron, President and CEO of National University: The Future Will Favor Flexible Educators

For those understandably concerned about the future of higher education, the optimism of today’s WorkforceRx guest Mark Milliron should serve as a salve. The new President and CEO of National University believes we’re entering an historic era of reinvention due to new tech and tools that foster innovation. “I just think we’re going to be able to try, test and learn in ways we haven’t seen in a long, long time. It’s going to be pretty exciting,” he tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. Milliron sees a future that will favor flexible educators focused on providing value to increasingly “non-traditional” students with complicated lives. That cohort is already a sweet spot for National University which was founded nearly fifty years ago to serve members of the military and is the largest graduate degree granting institution for diverse students in the country. “It’s about offering diversified learning opportunities, allowing for short cycle education that ladders into degrees and offering a mix of on-ground hybrid and fully online to meet students where they are.” And with access to more data than ever before, Milliron believes educators will be able to determine what innovations work based on facts, “not based on who can tell the best story.” Don’t miss this expansive discussion packed with ideas about transforming work-study programs to boost healthcare workforce development, moving to a mastery-based learning system and the necessity of shifting to “whole human” education. “If you’re serving adult learners, they’re not leaving because they can’t academically cut it. They’re leaving because life happens or logistics get in the way.”

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Futhi Mtoba, Former Chair of Deloitte South Africa and Co-Convener of Women Economic Assembly: A Fair Shot at Economic Opportunity

“My parents were feminists long before I even knew the term. My father used to verbalize that his daughters needed to be financially independent and this could only be achieved through education,” shares Futhi Mtoba, a global business leader who credits these groundbreaking attitudes in 1950’s South Africa with her considerable success. This personal background explains why she’s been involved in education and the empowerment of women throughout her career, including being a board member for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. She is also Co-Convener of the Women Economic Assembly, a national initiative seeking improved access for women to government and private sector procurement, employment, housing and other economic essentials. It is a daunting challenge as half of working-age women are not even in the workforce and if they are, the jobs are typically low paid. There are also persistent problems with gender-based wage gaps and lack of representation in corporate leadership. Tune in as Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan looks at how one country is working to strengthen its economy and society by helping women get a fair shot at economic opportunity through asset ownership, education, and leadership training.

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Shiv Gaglani, Co-Founder of Osmosis: A Once and Future Med Student Shakes Up Health Education

As a medical student at Johns Hopkins University ten years ago, Shiv Gaglani quickly realized it was time to shake up a century-old approach to medical education and make the experience more personalized and efficient. That was the spark for creating Osmosis, an online and mobile learning platform that he left med school to grow. The company, which was acquired last year by the European-based medical publisher Elsevier, has attracted millions of medical and allied health students to its learning system and short-form educational videos. “Osmosis has been designed around trying to make it as easy as possible for someone to access and consume content. We also push tailored content to people instead of relying on their willpower to come back to the system,” Gaglani tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. Check out this engaging conversation about what’s changed in medical education, the qualities that health professions students will need to be successful in the future, and the potential impact of AI on learners and providers. You’ll also hear how educators are integrating Osmosis’ content into training, and why Shiv is returning to med school later this year.

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Paurvi Bhatt, MPH, Healthcare Executive and Care Economy Leader: Retaining Employees By Supporting Their Role in Caring for Others

“It’s hard to bring what happens in the living room and the dining room into the boardroom,” says Paurvi Bhatt, board director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers and corporate executive. “I don’t think we can do that anymore.” Put another way, most of us are providing care to a loved one, and being open about that with colleagues, she thinks, can create a culture of understanding that will increase employee wellbeing. In fact, she believes that trend has already begun. “Leaders at all levels are starting to be much more vocal and vulnerable in sharing what’s happening with them. There isn’t a feeling that the only way to succeed is by hiding that these parts of your life exist,” she tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. In addition, companies have access to new employee benefit options designed to relieve some of the administrative burden of caregiving. “A beautiful set of things are coming up for employers to take a look at. It’s a reimagining of what benefits can look like.” Despite this progress, daunting challenges remain to make caring for loved ones at home viable, which Bhatt analyzes with the keen eye of someone who built a career as a global health leader despite heavy family caregiving responsibilities of her own. Tune in for a wisdom drop on how to rebrand the role of caregivers, reinvigorate the home care workforce, provide ethnically adapted care and get the home truly ready for home care.

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Dr. Angela Jackson, Founder of Future Forward Strategies: Reimagining Employee Benefits for a More Equitable Future of Work

“One of the trends that we’ll see in 2023 is a reimagining of benefits. You’ll see more employers thinking about how they can meet an employee where they are so they feel valued,” says Dr. Angela Jackson, who is the embodiment of a future-focused leader in workforce development.
Employers would also be wise to understand the lived realities of employees in order to address what Jackson has dubbed the “social determinants of work” such as childcare and transportation. As founder of the labor market intelligence firm Future Forward Strategies, Jackson is plugged-in to shifting worker demands that are shaped by COVID’s influence on how people perceive work-life balance, and fueled by the upper hand a tight labor market is giving them. As she explains to Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, for employers to succeed they need to be tuned into these new expectations. “During the pandemic, we saw more and more workers really enjoy having control over their time, even if they made the same amount or a little less. People are also looking for purpose.” Don’t miss this deeply informed look at what other trends will shape the labor market in 2023 including ‘talent as a service,’ women re-entering the workforce, VR-fueled innovations in training and other changes that may usher in a more equitable future of work.

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