Jamie Merisotis on access to opportunity through the learn-and-earn model

Thought leaders share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at SXSW EDU 2022

The learn-and-earn model is, not only a strong pathway, it’s crucial, according to Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO, Lumina Foundation – which strives to make lifelong learning accessible to everyone.

WorkingNation sat down with Merisotis at SXSW EDU in Austin.

He says, “American employers today are spending $500 billion on employee education and training. Employers are recognizing that investing in their own employee education is not only good in terms of an employee benefit, but it helps the company. It helps improve employee retention, productivity, and reduces recruitment costs.”

Merisotis adds, “When we think about these learn-and-earn models, we’ve got to do a better job of acknowledging what we learned in real time with the pandemic – which is that workers of color, women of color have been disproportionately impacted. And make sure that the learn-and-earn models are right-sized for the life experiences of these learners and workers of color.”

Merisotis also notes community colleges have a significant role in helping people find their way to good jobs and careers. “Community colleges are part of the untold story of American higher education today. They are critical as a pathway to further learning, but they’re also critical because they prepare people for the workforce, for jobs, for opportunities in the current environment. That’s really important.”

Learn more about Lumina Foundation.

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