- Skillful State Network, a workforce development initiative that got its start in Colorado as Skillful, is expanding to 19 other states with the cooperation of Republican and Democratic governors, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- The program is funded primarily by the Markle Foundation, a charitable organization, and its aim is to help workers, particularly those without a college degree, to “recalibrate their skills for a technology-driven economy." A core initiative is retraining workers using skills they've acquired from previous jobs, the Journal said.
- During Skillful's pilot in Colorado, the company succeeded in removing certain requirements from job advertisements — a bachelor's degree, or a decade of experience, for example — in order to open opportunities for new talent pools, including fast food workers and former inmates, according to the report.
The chances of finding the exact fit for your opening (unless you have an unlimited budget) are often slim, forcing many to expand their reach beyond traditional recruitment methods.
Dipping into previously overlooked talent pools is one way employers are thinking outside the box. Others are hiring from a skills-based perspective rather than a degree-dependent point of view. The result can be hires who can get the job done irrespective of their educational credentials.
In tech, the shift toward competencies over computer science degrees is reaching the biggest players in the industry with IBM ditching the four-year degree requirement for many of its openings. In manufacturing, talent shortages are opening opportunities for apprenticeships and educational partnerships.
The U.S Congress has heard testimony after testimony from business leaders and educators about the reskilling crisis plaguing the nation's employers. Creative solutions, however, are coming from business, educators, government and NGOs, working together to upskill American workers and meet demand.