Ron Reed on expanding workforce conversations

Thought leaders share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at SXSW EDU 2023

Workforce is a big track at SXSW EDU, says Ron Reed, founder and executive producer, SXSW EDU. “I think increasingly since we launched EDU about 10 years ago, the focus on the learner has never been stronger.”

He continues, “When you think about the learner and their trajectory, ultimately, it becomes a conversation about their career, life, goals, and destination. I think workforce really speaks to that learner-centric desire for an education that supports their future engagements and supports their professional world beyond the classroom.”

WorkingNation sat down with Reed at this year’s conference in Austin.

He notes the participation of employers at SXSW EDU indicates their interest in offering learning opportunities to their workers.

Reed says introducing job pathways to young students is happening at earlier ages. “In high school, we see a lot more students having opportunities to explore career pathways with automotive and tech, and a host of other professions that offer real immediate opportunities for students to engage and support themselves.”

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