Close It Blog

Ongoing Discussions in the Close It network
10
Jan

Jamai Blivin Interview with Brian Fleming

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Fleming of Sandbox ColLABorative. Brian is the Executive Director of the research and development lab at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. Key to the work of Brian’s role at Sandbox is driving an innovation and strategy agenda for the University—which as he notes, is “a very near and immediate innovation agenda.” Jamai: Brian, thanks so much for the opportunity to talk with you about the work at Sandbox. As I continue to learn more about your Center, I find that it is very unique for a higher education institution to have...
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14
Dec

NEWS: PAIRIN Joins Network of Technology Ventures Closing the Opportunity Gap for Disadvantaged Populations in the United States

December 13, 2018, Denver, CO, The Employment Technology Fund (ETF), a social impact fund focused on breaking down barriers to employment for lower-income adults, announced its investment in PAIRIN to rapidly scale the company’s tools that make education more relevant and hiring more equitable by accelerating the development of employability (soft) skills for people with barriers to employment and de-risking those hires for employers. Denver-based PAIRIN is a fast-growing, social enterprise software company whose products personalize career exploration, professional development, and hiring. PAIRIN’s tools not only assess skills directly related to work performance but also match people to optimal job profiles and training...
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20
Nov

An interview with Dara Warn Chief Operating Officer Penn Foster

Jamai Blivin: Penn Foster has a unique history— being the oldest online learning institution in the US. How does this impact your organization as you prepare for the future of working and learning?  Dara Warn: Not many organizations have been around for over 120 years but Penn Foster has. That longevity has been possible because we have adapted with the changing world. Training for careers in 1890 is very different from what is needed today and what will be needed tomorrow in terms of access and technology and substance, i.e. what is taught.  But what has remained the same is...
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21
Apr

Shift Happens – Job Ready Hire

“Shift Happens” was the theme of the Close It Summit held in Dallas, Texas just a few weeks before the election, without knowledge that a big shift in leadership for our country was on its way. Companies gathered to look at new ways to hire talent, find talent, develop talent. And a newly formed Innovative Business Hiring Council was unveiled to focus on a new business model for companies to employ youth based on skills and competencies. We are long overdue for a shift in the old hiring model. The unanticipated change in leadership has created angst across the country,...
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20
Apr

Competency-Based Hiring: 10 Signals The Shift Is Happening

Post written by Ryan Craig and Jamai Blivin Jamai Blivin is the founder and CEO of Innovate+Educate, a nonprofit focused on closing the skills gap. The skills gap is generating unprecedented attention — and with good reason. Nearly 8 million Americans are unemployed and looking for work while an estimated 6 million jobs remain unfilled. Fifty-three percent of college graduates students believe they’re ready to apply their skills and knowledge in the workforce, but only 23% of employers agree. It is increasingly clear that misalignment between post-secondary education and workforce needs is suppressing economic productivity and growth, as systematic reliance...
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