Overheard

Jane Oates on linking education programs to better-paying jobs and careers

Innovators share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2021
By Laura Aka
October 19, 2021

Educational providers can’t fill the needs for talent on their own. That from WorkingNation president Jane Oates. She says educators, employers, and nonprofits have to collaborate better and communicate better in order to move people into unfilled jobs and good-paying careers.

WorkingNation sat down with Oates at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2021 in Beverly Hills as part of our #WorkingNationOverheard interview series. With Charting a New Course as the guiding theme, thought leaders and innovators shared ideas about the changing economy, worker development, education, tech, philanthropy, and more.

Oates notes that the U.S. has the “best higher education system in the world,” but she adds, “We need to really concentrate better on linking those people that we train for entry-level jobs to higher-level C-suite jobs.”

“We need to build partnerships from the high school to the community college to baccalaureate and graduate programs, so we’re ensuring an immediate job for those who need it, but also a clear pathway into higher-paying jobs with better titles and more flexibility.”

Oates also says getting out the word about education and training opportunities requires finding new ways to communicate, including the use of social media. “I think too often we talk to ourselves. The same people go to conferences. The same people go to meetings. The same people are excluded from those events.”

She adds that we need to be spreading the word in alternative places. “We need to be looking at places we haven’t looked at before—Boys and Girls Clubs, churches, community organizations, basketball leagues, sports organizations. We need to make sure that not only young people are getting the idea, but they’re taking those ideas home to their parents and they’re talking about them at the kitchen table.”

Follow the conversation on social media: #WorkingNationOverheard #WorkingNation #MIGlobal