Yscaira Jimenez on ensuring long-term success for STARs

Thought leaders share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at SXSW EDU 2022

“We focus on using a skills-first hiring approach as opposed to talking about what people don’t have, namely a bachelor’s degree. We talk about what people do have – which are skills that they gain through many different ways,” says Yscaira Jimenez, chief innovation officer, Opportunity@Work.

WorkingNation sat down with Jimenez at SXSW EDU in Austin.

STARs are the people that Jimenez is talking about. People who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes.

As chief innovation officer, Jimenez says her job entails coming up with ways to rewire the labor market. The goal is to determine how all STARs down the road have pathways to good jobs.

She offers the example of an innovation project that would afford STARs apprenticeships with companies. Regarding the employer, Jimenez asks, “How do they manage up and across and build excitement? How do they make sure they secure the resources, namely the headcount?”

“How do they then build it in a way that’s set up to succeed from an equity perspective, from a conversion perspective, right? If you’ve hired someone you’ve hired them equitably, you’ve given them an opportunity. A good goal is to make sure they convert into full-time role.”

Learn more about Opportunity@Work.