Shift Blog

Ongoing Discussions in the Close It network

Interview with Lorenzo Esters of ETS

This month, I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Lorenzo Esters.  Dr. Esters currently serves as Executive Director for Higher Education Partnerships with the Global Education Division of Education Testing Service (ETS), a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance quality and equity in education for all people worldwide.  Dr. Esters will be joining us at the CLOSE IT SUMMIT 2019 to be held October 15-16, 2019, highlighting the new initiative Skills for A New Economy. Lorenzo, I am so pleased to interview you for the CLOSE IT blog, specifically as CLOSE IT less than one month away!  When I...
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Knowledge Leaders Post: Todd Hand with Heather McGowan

Heather McGowan, Future of Work Strategist and Keynote Speaker at the October 2019 Close It Summit, joins Todd Hand of Knowledge Leaders to discuss what she would do differently in higher education, how products and services are “the by-products” of company culture and contrasts Amazon from Barnes and Noble to illustrate growth capacity. She also touches upon the Gallop data on K-12 disengagement. Learn more in this episode of the Knowledge Leaders Podcast, hosted by Todd Hand.  click image link to listen Podcast Transcript Excerpt Todd Hand:  When you describe the future company, you do so in terms of culture and capacity. What...
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Conversation with Keith Wardrip | Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

I recently got the opportunity to sit down with Keith Wardrip of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and discuss the latest release of his co-authored paper, Opportunity Occupations Revisited,” which was highlighted by the New York Times in May ( Keith will be at CLOSE IT 2019 presenting on the report and new research. So, join us!     Hi Keith, I am so glad we got the opportunity to catch up with you and your work at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. You’ve been working with the Federal Reserve Bank since 2011. In 2015, we featured you...
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Jamai Blivin Conversation with Audrey Williams-Lee

Jamai Blivin had the opportunity to sit down with Audrey Williams-Lee, SVP, Human Resources, Talent Acquisition & Philanthropy.  Audrey Williams-Lee joined Hyatt Hotels Corporation in 2017 and serves as the HR leader and advisor for C-suite executives and their leadership teams, leading the development and implementation of workforce and talent strategies. She also leads Hyatt’s community engagement and social impact efforts and directs the company’s philanthropy strategy and approach to charitable giving. Jamai:  Thank you for your time today Audrey. I appreciate your expertise as you lead Hyatt’s Talent Acquisition globally from not only an HR standpoint but also a...
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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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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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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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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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