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Prudential’s Skills Accelerator platform enables employees to own and drive their personal career journeys with personalized digital career services.

The insurance industry is facing a talent conundrum. A growing number of baby boomer employees are retiring, with the pandemic accelerating many individual retirement timelines. Efforts to recruit new talent are hampered by millennials’ negative perceptions of careers in insurance. And employers facing an urgent business imperative to digitize need employees who have comprehensive sets of new skills. All of these forces are coalescing into the one thing the insurance industry hates the most — uncontrolled risk.

How does an industry that is inherently risk-averse and change-resistant navigate these challenges?


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Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University of Virginia

UVA Edge helps employers invest in the long-term career success of workers without college degrees. It’s an innovative one-year program in which participants gain technical expertise and strengthen fundamental ‘human skills’ while earning transferable college credits. For employers, UVA Edge provides an opportunity to develop talent, increase retention, and create a more diverse and equitable workplace.

By Stephen Yadzinski, Senior Innovation Officer, JFFLabs & Stacey Clawson, Associate Vice President, JFF

There are more than 75 million adults in the United States who graduated from high school and never earned a college degree.

Compared with college graduates, they are more likely to hold lower-wage jobs, are disproportionately Black and Latinx, and have more limited opportunities for career advancement.

It’s clear that a college degree is the best forward-looking indicator of economic advancement. Among other things, a postsecondary education offers students important foundational experiences and helps them develop enduring skills such as emotional intelligence, creative problem-solving and communication…


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Despite intense financial headwinds, this Impact Employer helps employees develop new skills and build a path to a college degree.

COVID-19 caused commercial air travel to evaporate overnight. Now, nearly a year into the pandemic, airlines are operating with a fraction of prior customer demand. Many have gone out of business, and those still operating are facing deep financial challenges. In the fight to survive, some airlines are suspending flights, grounding aircraft, leaving markets, and laying off employees. Each airline is navigating these difficult cost-cutting choices in its own unique way, shaped by its leadership, culture, and values.

JetBlue, the fifth largest U.S. airline, exemplifies what it means to be an Impact Employer while under intense financial pressure. Celebrating its…


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There is an opportunity for technology to make a tangible social impact amidst the daunting challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Lucretia Murphy, senior director, JFF

An equitable economic recovery from the twin health care and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will not be possible without addressing the racial inequities in the labor market. These structural inequities disadvantage Black, Latinx, and Native American workers and those without a college education, and the systems that would help these workers navigate career opportunities amidst the chaos of COVID-19 (or even pre-COVID) are broken. While we fix the workforce development system, we need to also empower workers, especially those who are disadvantaged by the system because of race, class, or level…


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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

More than you might think — and it can improve your bottom line

By Alison Schmitt and Laura Roberts

In this year like no other, people across American society have been questioning traditional power structures and reexamining who has solutions to some of our nation’s toughest problems. For corporate leaders, confronting a devastating pandemic and deep-rooted racial injustice, your usual M.O. is likely proving inadequate.

In the past, you’ve looked to the leader of your company — or, if you’re a CEO yourself, to your board or your peers on the Fortune 500 list — for wisdom to resolve knotty issues. …


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Workday’s Ingrid Franzen is sparking a hiring revolution for nontraditional talent.

Reading about the U.S. jobs outlook during the pandemic highlights an interesting dichotomy. There are a record number of Americans out of work (the unemployment rate was around 6.7 percent in December 2020), yet many industries and employers are facing labor shortages. How is this possible? How can a labor shortage exist when so many people are looking for work?

Employers often say they’re encountering a “skills gap” — they can’t find enough people with the right skills for open positions. The end result, they say, is that numerous jobs go unfilled even though they’re recruiting aggressively.

Workday, a leading…


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Learning and development leaders push the boundaries of technology to save time, money — and lives.

The pressure to find better, more efficient ways to train employees is nothing new. High-quality training experiences enable employees, and companies overall, to be more ambitious, innovative, and resilient. Those are important capabilities during boom times and economic downturns alike.

Fortunately, immersive learning tools are unlocking innovative ways to deliver training. These technologies have distinct advantages over traditional corporate training options. Among other things, they’re more cost-effective and they’re easier to scale — making them especially appealing to companies that need to train large numbers of frontline and entry-level workers.

ExxonMobil’s Athicha Dhanormchitphong and Kyle Daughtry understand the value of…


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Autodesk’s principal UX designer calls on Big Tech to challenge systemic barriers, starting with honest dialogue and equitable hiring.

The U.S. technology industry is well known for being monochromatic. Its workforce, particularly its technical talent, is made up of predominantly white men. And for an industry that prides itself on agility and constant innovation, change has been surprisingly difficult.

Industry leaders verbally affirm the well-established connection between diversity and product creativity, the lifeblood of technology. But they just haven’t been able to figure it out. Some argue that the fundamental issue is a “pipeline problem” — there aren’t enough women and people of color with the right tech credentials.

Omari Brandt, a principal UX designer for Autodesk, has a…


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By Shoshana Berger, Senior Director of Design for Learning at IDEO,
and David Soo, Chief of Staff at JFF

Back before COVID, conferences were unimaginable without bodies gathered in a physical space. But after seven months of social distancing, it’s hard to imagine clustering around a coffee station, much less — gasp! — sharing an armrest with a stranger.

For organizers of big-tent events, the planning pivot was radical: How do you reproduce not only the programming, but all of the unplanned moments of serendipity, networking, and connection? …


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By Michael Collins, VP, JFF

I have been watching America’s recent descent into crisis through two distinct but mutually reinforcing lenses. As an executive at a nonprofit leading the charge to transform education and training systems toward more equitable outcomes, I draw on my experience in public affairs and public policy to dispassionately analyze the implications of COVID-19 and systemic racism for learners and workers trying to advance in our economy.

My professional commitment to objective analysis notwithstanding, as a Black American I cannot avoid also diffracting the twin pandemic through a prism that is inescapably personal. I see people…

JFF

JFF (Jobs for the Future) is a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States.

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