An unprecedented upskilling challenge

A conversation with Josh Jarrett, acting executive director, SkillUp

Millions of people remain out of work as we head into the last part of the year. A new nonprofit—born out of this economic and health crisis—is working to help workers who have lost jobs or wages find their way back into the workforce.

Rather than push workers back into jobs just like the ones they left, the SkillUp coalition gives workers the opportunity to build new skills that are needed in current and future in-demand jobs with promising career paths.

“The challenge that we’re facing is unprecedented in most of our lifetimes,” Josh Jarrett, acting executive director and executive board chair explains in this Work in Progress podcast. And, he adds, it is important to use this opportunity to arm displaced workers with the skills they need, creating opportunities for upward economic mobility.

“To solve that, it wasn’t going to be a single organization, a single government entity. We couldn’t leave the responsibility at the foot of any one organization, nor could we afford to leave it at the feet of the workers who are disproportionately be affected by the COVID economic crisis,” says Jarrett.

To that end, SkillUp has brought together an impressive coalition of 40 employers, training partners, providers, companies, tech companies, nonprofits, and philanthropies to try to “create an affordable, equitable, relevant upskilling ecosystem that works well for workers, employers, and society.”

Jarrett says, “There are millions of people who need help. And so the Skill Up Coalition is an organization that has come together to try and pull together the best of what’s available to help those individuals.”

The coalition is attacking the jobs crisis on many fronts—providing career navigation, training programs, and job opportunities “to help frontline workers secure their place in the economy of tomorrow.” The coalition is also using social media and technology to make sure those who need the help the most are hearing about the services and resources in place to help them.

WorkingNation is proud to be a part of that mission and the coalition by helping to shine the light on the partners and programs aimed at putting people in good, family-sustaining careers. As always, we’re telling the stories of programs and initiatives that are successfully attacking this jobs and upskilling challenge.

Listen here for more on SkillUp, its partners, and its mission. Or you can find the Work in Progress podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening! And please subscribe.

Episode 152: Josh Jarrett, SkillUp, Acting Executive Director
Host: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch, Melissa Panzer, and Ramona Schindelheim
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.

You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts