- Education Design Lab has launched its UpSkill SA initiative, which aims to upskill San Antonio's front-line workers. In its 18-month pilot phase, the program will provide skills training to more than 400 Goodwill San Antonio workers in fields such as logistics and supply chain management.
- Designed according to a learner-centric model, the program pairs employer-focused curriculum from Palo Alto College with support services from the school and Goodwill San Antonio. Counselors, coaches and case workers will help learners focus on skills enhancement as they assist with some of the traditional barriers to learning: child care, transportation and technology access.
- "UpSkill SA! reflects the power — and necessity — of cross-sector collaboration to build accessible pathways into the most in-demand fields," Palo Alto College President Robert Garza said in a news release. "By connecting Goodwill workers with marketable skills in high-growth jobs, we can help ensure every person in our community has the ability to gain the education needed for a stable career."
This is not Goodwill's first venture into a cross-sector upskilling initiative. Goodwill Industries International recently partnered with Google.org to expand the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator, a digitally-enabled upskilling regimen with a goal of training more than 1.25 million workers throughout the collaboration. The Goodwill Community Foundation likewise partnered with Facebook in late 2018, which granted workers access to training and development resources.
Goodwill's move to join in on the UpSkill SA initiative and partner with various organizations to promote learning both reveals the effects of the e-tailing boom and reflects a broader trend among employers investing in employee training opportunities.
As Americans continue to shift their shopping online, careers in warehousing, supply chain and logistics are booming. The transportation and warehousing sector lured more than 731,000 hires from other industries from 2011 to 2015, for example. Some companies are cultivating resources from within; Walmart employees can pay $1 per day to gain access to online programs through the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University, and the first degrees available to participants are in business and supply chain management.
Goodwill's evident focus on cross-sector partnerships echoes other employers' approaches to the skills crisis. Many — including Discover, Taco Bell, Lowe's, Disney and Walmart — have partnered with Guild Education, an employee education benefit provider, to offer workers the opportunity to learn outside of work. And Fifth Third Bank provides another example in its partnership with the NAACP that provides community members with "tools, resources and information regarding career literacy that will empower individuals to find employment and to enhance their employment skills," according to a news release.