Overheard

Rachel Carlson on working with employers to create an in-house learning infrastructure

Innovators share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2021
By Laura Aka
October 18, 2021

More companies are investing in their employees by offering free education and upskilling opportunities via Guild Education, which coordinates and negotiates learning programs between employers and education providers. CEO and co-founder Rachel Carlson says these initiatives are an important component when it comes to attracting and retaining employees.

WorkingNation sat down with Carlson 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.

“Employers are at a really unique moment of needing to think about their own workforce as part of their talent pipeline. The challenge is (they are) competing for not just the engineers, but the digital marketing talent, the cybersecurity, really the jobs of the future. And a lot of companies don’t yet have the workforce strategy or the workforce to prepare for that, and they need to look inward to do it,” says Carlson.

Guild Education is already working with a number of companies on these education benefits, including Target, Walmart, and Chipotle. She says her company provides the infrastructure for employee learning and upskilling to take place by providing access to top education providers. “[Employees] have really informed decisions backed by data about where the right place is to go learn if I am a cashier today or a call center clerk, and I want to be in allied health care or in customer success,” says Carlson.

She says an employee’s tenure with a particular company also needs an honest look—different than the experience of the Greatest Generation of obtaining a four-year degree and then working for an employer for 40 years.

Carlson says potential employees have a lot of questions to be asking. “Today’s Millennial and Gen Z workforce knows the four-and-40 is dead. They’re looking to have an honest conversation with their employer that says, ‘Okay, I want to work here for a period of time. I want to learn while I’m here. I want to be contributive to your bottom line. And then let’s be realistic about, do you even want me here 10 years from now?’”

“’If you’re a business that’s going to have fewer employees in 10 years than you have today—which is the honest reality of so many of our businesses today—can we talk about that? Can you help me move, not upward at your company, but onward in a productive trajectory to another company?’”

Click here to learn more about Guild Education.

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