The nature of work is changing rapidly, but the workforce development system has not kept up. As the nature of work changes with increasing speed, training needs to adapt quickly to focus more on in-demand skills. This has led to a vast skill gap – across the US, 7M jobs went unfilled in 2018 while 6M people were unemployed. Yet government and philanthropic funding for training have fallen precipitously, and workforce development is one of the most underfunded portfolios today – with a 40% decline in federal sources since the 1970s. In light of this void, we need to discuss innovative financing mechanisms to address the immediate needs of out-of-work adults and students looking for alternative career paths and need to gain the skills for entry, especially during an economic sparked by covid-19. Income Share Agreements, where students pay no upfront tuition and only pay a fixed percentage of their income for a defined period after they have secured a good-paying job, have emerged as a promising new innovation. In combination with industry-informed accelerated training, ISAs have the potential to increase economic mobility, improve the quality of training providers and transform the workforce development funding system.
The audience will hear from leaders across the public, private and people sectors who have been designing training programs and ISA funding mechanisms suitable for low-income students and people with limited access to credit. They will speak from their recent experiences of designing, funding and/or implementing income share agreements at a school, municipal, state level etc. Our speakers will discuss the opportunities and challenges of ISAs, as well as the important ways that they have been tailored to protect and serve low-income students. Through their eyes, we will discover how Income Share Agreements (ISAs) help more people to access new skills as well as keep training programs, investors and students focused on outcomes.
The session will have multiple parts in an interactive, large workshop format with multiple polls, audience discussion etc., including:
- An overview of public and private sources of workforce development funding and recent trends
- A discussion of how COVID-19 and the protests against systemic racism have changed the ISA landscape
- A quick review of new training models and trends that work well with innovative financing mechanisms
- A discussion about designing, funding and implementing ISAs for workforce development, especially for low-income adults
This interactive workshop will help participants imagine radical change in a workforce development system that needs to return to its aim of Education for All.
- Eric Clement, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Managing Director and Senior Vice President
- Carol Tan, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Assistant Vice President of Strategy
- Lauren Andersen, Tech Talent Pipeline, Department of Small Business Services, Executive Director
- Jessie Haselton, ECMC Foundation, Director of Program-Related Investments
- Elizabeth Garlow, New America / Lumina Ventures, Deputy Director
- Brooke Valle, San Diego Workforce Partnership, Chief Strategy Officer
- Jacob Haar/Pam Hammond, Community Investment Management, Managing Partner
- Jake Edwards, Social Finance, Director
- David Soo, Jobs for the Future, Chief of Staff