- In collaboration with Arizona State University (ASU) and The Rise Fund, a newly launched learning services enterprise called InStride will partner with employers to provide employees with opportunities for a university education. Existing relationships with employers like Starbucks catalyzed InStride's spin off as a new enterprise, a press release said.
- The program will allow businesses to sponsor their staff members to earn credentials and degrees from top universities. The collaboration with ASU, a university that offers more than 175 BA, MA and certificate programs, is designed to deliver digital teaching and learning models at scale. The goal is to reduce barriers to success and achievement in higher education, according to the release.
- Two years in the making, InStride arose from conversations between ASU and Rise, a social impact fund. Their goal is to produce thousands of debt-free degree holders in the coming years by collaborating with employers and leveraging tuition assistance programs, while also helping upskill employees, the release said.
Collaborations between companies, educators, government and NGOs are working hard to address the talent shortage and the need for upskilling. Entire communities are feeling the effect of underemployment and HR is looking to partnerships in order to survive the digital transformation. Many companies have even developed their own partnerships with universities to upskill their current employees.
The tight talent market has made it challenging for employers to hire, and workers are the direct beneficiaries. Some employers have even rebranded their education program as an employee benefit to attract more learners. Walmart, Starbucks and Uber all offer paid tuition to their workers as both a retention strategy and a way to prepare their talent markets for the future. Particularly for manufacturing and trades jobs that require a higher education, employers are implementing development benefits in order to future-proof their employee bases and ensure they actually have workers with the right skills in the future.
In some areas, even high-schoolers are being targeted for job-readiness skills. Educators are rethinking their role in prepping the workforce of today and tomorrow. Job-ready grads are a priority for schools looking to increase their post-degree placement rates and employers looking to affect quality hires.