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September 9, 2021 42 mins

If there are more job openings than there are people unemployed then why are we facing one of the greatest economic growth challenges of our time? If 32 million Americans don't know how to use a computer and half of Americans are not comfortable learning online, then how do we ensure the skills gap doesn’t exclude those most vulnerable of being left behind? While workers are in high demand, the right skills are in short supply. We must bridge this gap by better aligning the educational and learning resources available to workers with the skills needed by businesses. America’s future depends on it. On this episode of Force Multiplier, Baratunde sits with two leaders who are demonstrating the power of developing innovative cross-sector programs and providing flexible learning options for all. Onney Crawley, CMO of Goodwill Industries, shares how one of the most recognizable community organizations is leading efforts to close the opportunity gap by upskilling millions of Americans and helping them get back into the workforce. Dr. Sue Ellspermann, President of Ivy Tech Community College, shares how community colleges are leading the way to create more inclusive higher education systems, while also aligning students' skills with local economic needs.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
Welcome to Force Multiplier, a new podcast about leveling up
the impact we can have in the world through our relationships.
I'm barretton Day Thurston and in collaboration with I Heart
Radio and Salesforce dot Org, I sit with leaders from
across the public, private, and nonprofit world who are forging
partnerships to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing us today.

Welcome back to Force Multiplier. I'm your host barrattun Day,
and you are the force that multiplies. We're gonna be
talking today about workforce development and the face of unemployment
in America. You know, we have still a challenge of
employment in this country and the people bearing the brunt

of it are low wage workers and marginalized communities who
have been walloped by the pandemic, both in an epidemiological
sense as well as in an economic sense. And we
have this mismatch because there are millions of jobs listed
that aren't filled and there are millions of people looking

for work. But we have this growing skills gap, this
mismatch between the skills that workers have and those that
employers want, and the pandemic accentuated and accelerated this. We've
seen a growth of remote work in our economy, a
growth of automation, and a continuation of the effects of globalization.

All this can be managed can be mitigated when folks
have access to education and certification and workforce development options.
Economies are always changing, that's what they do. We as
humans change. We have to make sure our institutions, and
especially those that provide dignity and livelihood, keep pace with

those changes. That technology plays an interesting role in this
right because technology has contributed to some of this unemployment.
It has contributed certainly to some of this skills gap.
As the marketplace, the what is required of people who
work is different from what many of us are capable of.

But technology can also be a part of the solution,
and we have seen the growth of certain job sectors
because of technology helping us solve a need, whether it's
a climate need through green collar jobs, or a COVID
need through more healthcare jobs, or a technology need through
more tech jobs, and the way we deliver on how

we grow and adapt. Our workforce can benefit from technology itself,
through innovative training, through up skilling, through education programs, whether
they come from educators, employers, nonprofit civic leaders, or somebody
else just trying to do a solid to society. So
why do I care? I want to take you back
to ninet. I um seventeen, going on eighteen years old.

I'm a first year student at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
and I am a techno file. I mean I showed
up with not a real good television or stereo, but
my computer was dope. I have always been the person
that friends turned to to help them figure out something
with their computer. In fact, as partly how I paid

for college is fixing people's computers. So I found this
community service opportunity to teach computer skills to folks who
had a whole different level of technology literacy. And we
worked out in a Section eight housing project on the
outskirts of Cambridge neighborhood is Ale Wife for anybody who
knows the region, and in the basement of this high

rise building, I would teach classes too, folks who were
definitely low income and often first generation. They had moved
to this country for better opportunity, and we school them
on on Microsoft Word and how file systems worked, and
Windows and even DOSS. Because I'm old, and it was
a very satisfying feeling for me because I like teaching,

and I like when people get ideas, and I like
feeling like I could use my skills for something other
than binging internet content, that I could use it to
help folks. But then I saw the lightbulb go off,
and I saw people able to get jobs and able
to upgrade not just their skills but their ability to
provide for their families, which for so many of them

is why they came here in the first place. So
I have a taste of what this can feel like
when it works. I have a taste of the hunger
so many people have to work, but sometimes the frustration
when the skills you have don't match what an employer want.
So we're gonna talk to two people in this episode

who do what I was trying to do as a
college first year student, but in the current context, which
is way more complicated and more fascinating in many ways
more challenging. First, I sit with Annie Crawley, chief marketing
officer of Goodwill. I'm trying to understand with Annie how
one of the most recognizable community organizations is leading efforts

to close the community gap through things I didn't even
know they were up to, like up scaling millions of
Americans and helping them get back into the workforce. We
also hear from Dr Sue else Perman. She's the president
of ivy Tech Community College, which is the largest contributor
to the Indiana workforce in the entire state and with
so many jobs coming from local economic needs. Sue shares

how ivy Tech builds programs to train students of any
age to meet those demands. First, I hope you enjoy
and I'll see you on the other side. So let's

say I'm looking for a job and somebody else is
also looking for a job, but they have other things
that they have to take into account, like the fact
that maybe they don't have a car, or the fact
that they don't have consistent broadband. But I have all
those things, So for me, it's not our problem. I
just gotta find the employee a like and try to
get a name, view and go. So how do we
solve for the things that put them behind the starting lines,
so to speak, so that way they can equitably competitively

compete for a job. Annie Crawley has been the chief
Marketing officer of Goodwill for just over six months, which
is a departure from the traditional marketing roles she has
built a successful career around for so many years. Before this,
she's pivoted like so many organizations I've had too, and
she's facing a new challenge now, one that she is

excited about to help reshape one of the country's largest
nonprofit organizations. Hi, how are you. I'm doing really really well.
Thank you so much for having me on today. You
are so welcome, and thank you for spending some time
with me. Well, I think you know why we're here,
but we're doing this podcast Force multiplier. I want to

talk about good Will, want to talk about collaboration, want
to talk about you, and I want to start with Goodwill,
which many people know for many different reasons. I know
it as a thrift store, mostly in a place of donations.
What is Goodwill? Who does good Will serve? And how
does good Will do that? Good Will serves so many people,

And it's all of those things that you mentioned. It
is a nonprofit, it's a retail chain, it's a skills
training center, it's all of those things. We serve thrifters,
people who love to thrift and buy a second hand.
We serve those who are looking for new jobs that
are looking to advance themselves in their careers, those who
want to donate and just unload stuff that they don't
want their homes anymore. People who want to help and

do good and who want to fund. So we have
so many different audiences. And you know what's interesting is
that most people know us only for our stores and
our donation centers, and because of that, people think, oh, yeah, Goodwill.
It's like this big for profit company, But we're not.
When you step back, We're really in the business of
helping people and helping the planet. For people, it's all

about self empowerment and living life on your terms. And
for the planet, it's about doing our part to keep
usable goods out of landfills. Yeah. I think that's a
good way to unify what it is, you know, helping
the planet, helping people. So much of what your work
is I see as interacting with American workers. And the
organization has been around for so long. What has the

organization learned about America's workers and what they need? Wow?
You know, I it's so we're in certainly in a
time and I know we'll talk about that, but I
think there's just an ongoing evolution, right. Nothing is ever static.
And so that's why when we talk about what we
offer to people, it's not just about getting people into jobs.

It's also people who already have jobs but want to
go further, or do more, or go in a different directions.
So it's almost like goodwill they sort of enabled this journey.
It's this rand that's an ongoing support of individual growth
and evolution. Maybe you're moving or redesigning your home, and
we give you a place to shed all the things
you don't want anymore. You shop our stores and that's

kind of a part of enabling your personal self expression.
You utilize our skills, training and job support services to
advance a career, find a new career. So I think
what we've learned is that people are always evolving, and
we want to be able to be that support to
enable the evolution that they're looking for. I have this
image of complex organization. How is good will able to

be so many things to so many people. I would
imagine that the organization, which is by the way, almost
twenty years old, never set out to say I want
to be all these different things to all these people.
In this way, I think the fundamental thing that Edgar Helms,
who started the company. Wanted to do when he started
out of Boston was he wanted to just give everybody

an equitable chance. And he saw an opportunity to take
things that those who were more privileged no longer needed
and use that to create resources to give to people
who needed more and enable them to sort of step up.
One thing I really love about good Will is that
the philosophy really is about teaching a man how to
fish so that he can eat for a lifetime rather

than sort of fish for a day. And so I
think just over time and as we've built out the Federation,
which is made up of a hundred and fifty six
different memberships, these members have looked at their local communities
and said, what do they need here? So something that
a good Will might need in Michigan might be different
from what a good Will needs in Texas. And so
what's unique about this organization is we work to really

understand the specific needs in the town where you live
and address those needs. And I think through that that's
how you've seen sort of this expansion of services that
we offer throughout the company. I respect that a ton
and I think we have a lot of blanket band
aids we try to apply with no knowledge on the ground.
So having grounded local knowledge seems like a huge differentiator

for an organization like Goodwill use the word equity, and
it makes me think of the opportunity gap, especially in
terms of employment. What is involved in creating that gap
in this country? More to the point, how are you
working to help close it? I think a lot of
it stems from the fact that just fundamentally, we are
in a digital world today. There was a report last year,

I think by the Aspen Institute, and according to that report,
I think thirty two million Americans don't know how to
use a computer, and half of Americans are not comfortable
learning online. So there's definitely a need to build more
digital competent so that tomorrow people are not getting locked
out of even the most basic jobs. People have this

idea that it's things like you know, automation and AI
and all this disruption that's going to take away jobs.
The reality is that rather than jobs disappearing, the jobs
are really changing and a lot of workers are going
to need digital upskilling to keep up with those and
be prepared for those opportunities. Jobs that previously needed unskilled
workers over fined with unskilled workers. Twenty percent of those

jobs are now going to need skilled workers. So it's
showing the need for even some of the most basic
roles to require some sort of digital proficiency. So with
that understanding that we have this sort of workforce development
challenge around digital and technological skills, where does goodwill come in?
How do you work in all of these communities across

your federation to help provide people those skills. I would
say it's twofold. One is that we are trying to
set up a learning management platform that will enable people
to come in and get the digital skills and any
kind of upskilling really that they need to get into
the jobs what they want. We're also galvanizing other organizations
to join us and provide services that will allow people

to get the free skilling that they need so that
they can get into different jobs. So it's really kind
of this whole one plus one equals three. I want
that math. I want that one plus one three put
my stocks in that. I want to talk about the
Rising Together coalition. There are many players, many different types

of players coming together, some of the largest employers in
the country, some of them with some very progressive policies
internally or externally, working with Goodwill to help boost this
economic recovery and make sure it works for everybody, not
just having that k shape we hear so much about
in the news. So talk to me about rising together.
What is it? Who's involved? Yes, they surrising together. At

the most fundamental level, it's a commitment by the good
Will brand to help America get back on its way
to economic recovery. That's what it is. And we know
we can't do it alone, which is why we formed
a coalition to do that. The brain child that was
because we looked at what was happening with the pandemic.
You know, nationwide pandemic related job laws has disproportionately affected

people of color, women, and those without pihor degrees, and
we knew that to recover with an inclusive economic infrastructure
that gives everyone equitable opportunity, we needed something that was
going to provide the right support in the right place
at the right time. And so you came together with
other Fortune fifty companies specifically for the purpose of providing

those who are not unemployed right now with the support
and researchers they need. We started with five companies, but
the ideas that we start with those five and as
we continue to sort of message what we're doing with
this and get more communication out there about Rising Together,
is that companies, we get more companies to get on
the train and join us in this journey. So, in
a basketball metaphor, who's your starting five? My my starting team.

So we kicked off the launch in May with Google,
of Courserra, Indeed, Lift and the Anthem Foundation all are
bringing very unique supports to the Rising Together structure. All right,
so I want like ESPN Graphics, Right, I'm gonna hit
you with a player, and then you're gonna tell me

what they're bringing to the team, all right. Indeed, what
do they have for the coalition? Indeed, Oh, they're they're
all about it. They're elevating all of their jobs services
to ensure people have the right skills for the changing
labor markets. So they're actually tweaking the way they're offering
services so that addresses exactly needs people have today when
looking for a job. Alright, Google, big company, big player,
bringing a lot to the court. What's Google offering to

this coalition? Huge? Huge, So they're delivering all of our
digital skills and more than just the digital skills. They're
giving us the opportunity to provide certification. So they're offering
digital skill certification for specific jobs that actually are a
pipeline into roles within their organization. And that certification, I
can imagine is a very valuable It also doesn't require
like four years of a bachelor's degree. That is the

beauty of it. And I think Google is one employer
that really understands that there is a dire need to
hire for skills and not just for degrees. Our Lift
is on the court. Now. Lift we know them as
kind of this agile player. They move around a lot.
What is Lift bringing. They have a program called the
Jobs Access Program that allows people to get free rides
to interviews or two jobs, and they're expanding that program

now so that more people can take advantage of the
free services that they offer. And finally, let's do as
a quick pair, Anthem and coursera very different players. What
are each of them bringing? Yes, So Anthem Foundations, so
you know they're all about healthcare obviously, so they're launching
a healthcare training path that becomes a direct pipeline leading
to credentials, job placement, higher wages, more benefits, so we

love them for that corsera. They're providing free online courses
specifically targeted at youth, veterans, military families, and people who
have been impacted by the criminal justice system, all to
help them identify again what their ideal career paths are
and help them secure jobs. So, the way you've described
the nature of the program, everyone who signed up here

is committed to America's economic recovery. But from the perspective
of the human who is trying to take advantage of
this service, what's their experience with the Rising Together coalition
and how might it be a bit different than say,
two years ago. I think the biggest difference is really
just sort of the amplification of the different programs. Now.

Keep in mind Rising Together we're talking about it in
the media, but it's much more targeted towards funders and corporations,
and so just everyday person walking down the street may
not hear about Writing Together specifically. What they should notice
is that now there's hams to be more availability of services,
more availability of free services, and more availability of holistic

services that address all the different needs that people have
when it comes to searching for a job. What's been
the most surprising outcome of this partnership so far. I
think the thing that's been the most surprising and really
pleasantly surprising is how quickly some people have been wanting
to come on board. We've been talking to companies and
everyone loves the idea. Yeah, people are like, hey, sign

me up. People see what's going on right now with
our economy, even to some of the social issues we're
dealing with right now, and people are like, I want
to be a part of the solution. It feels like
it's been a lower hanging fruit situation in terms of
getting people to come on board with this or at
least support it in some way. So that's been great
easy sales. Pitch you rise together or fall alone. Nobody

wants to sign up for falling alone? Can you join
the team? I like that. I haven't writing that one down.
It is my gifts to the I'm good, I'll sign up.
That's my asset words. Why do you think it's so
important to have this kind of cross sector partnership to

take on the opportunity gap in the workforce development challenge?
First of all, I don't think anyone can do it alone.
I think It requires different types of expertise and engagement
from different company sector to address all the different needs.
Every partner has something that you would consider to be
like a creative and impactful to bring to this challenge.
And you know, as more companies join in, that impact

just becomes exponential. We call this show for a small supplier,
right We're looking for that leverage, that that extra umph
in the Rising Together efforts. So far, what's been the
force multiplier? You know, I would like to think that
goodwill has been the force multiplier. And now I mean

I say good will, but the reason I say good
will is just because one, we're trying to bring it
more to the forefront. Everyone knows what's going on. We're
all watching the news, we're seeing you know, all the headlines.
But we're trying to create action more than just discussion.
And that's what I think we're trying to do with
this Right Together coalition. And I think it also puts
more of a spotlight on the work. And it also

keeps everyone accountable. We're basically declaring what we will do
and we're all holding each other accountable to make he
that we get it done. So there you have it, Yes,
good will I said it good. It was the force multiplying.
I want to know a bit more about you, Annie,
because we've been talking about career changes and pivots and upscaling,

and Uh, when I look at your background, you've made
some changes. You have a lot of experience in consumer
goods and food, and now you're at this massive, very
well established nonprofit. How did your path emerge for you? Yeah,
and I probably have a story that many people can

relate to in terms of just how things change in
your life and how you make pivots and how at
the time of the pivot you're not sure, but when
you look back, like, wow, that was the right pivot.
Before business school, I was actually a microbiologist and then
pivoted into business because I didn't want to get a
pH d and kind of get into science leadership but
I wasn't that interested. But became a marketer and then
started working for CpG companies and then had my first

durable goods assignment working for Years Holdings working on the
Craftsman brand, and then went from there to work in
betting before coming to this role so very much you know,
for profit marketing, which I've loved. I had a lot
of rules that involved brand revitalization or sort of brand
trying to re energize brands that maybe it started to
lag or having some challenges. So that started to become

a thing that I really really enjoyed as a part
of my career, and I would never have seen myself
a nonprofit. But the one thing that really stood out
for me when I started having conversations was the fact
that they were looking to transform the brand. Given its
role and workforce development, this is the one brand that
should be very relevant across today's cultural zeitgeist. And I
don't think we're in as many conversations as we should

be right now. I don't think the brand is as
elevated as it should be right now, especially given where
we are with our economy, and so there's a great
opportunity to really elevate that message and really move that
mission forward in a much more powerful and impactful way.
What advice would you offer someone who's looking at their
own career path, they want to have even more of
an impact, and they're wondering what else they can be doing. First,

I would just say, don't overwhelm yourself. I think people
see what's going on. We're all a little bit like
are we living in the twilight zone right now? People
want to do something and people just have this how
do I save the world? How do I save the world?
I would say, don't ever want yourself with the thoughts
of how to say the world. You can start as
small as you want. Take stock with the skills that
you bring to your job first, like what do you

do for a living? When you look at that skill set,
look around you for where else that skills that can
apply or else it can be a value and a
lot of times it's right in your backyard. There's many
opportunities right now for people to be helping out right
from their home. You have sites like do Something dot org,
there's catch a Fire, so many sites where you can
go in and sign up to volunteer for something that's

going to help somewhere. There will always be need, and
so just open your eyes to what's right around you.
The show is so focused on cross sector partnership, usually
referring to organizations and businesses. But I'm wondering, in your
own career path, in your own life, have others supported
you in your career? Have there have been people who

have been mentors or sources of inspiration you want to
share a bit about. So I've had a lot of
mentors over the years, and what's so fun about that
is I think probably didn't even know they were mentoring me.
You're just sneaking wisdom from people. Oh it's the best way,
let me tell you. Because I've never formally asked someone

to be my mentor. I've been formally assigned mentors, which
has been great too, but I have never personally asked
because I feel like when you do that it puts
a formal burden that just can create some anxiety for
you for the mentor all of that. But I think
it's very easy to just say, hey, do you have
time I'd love to go to lunch with you this
week if you have time, or hey, I'm gonna chat

with you. Do you after it, even next week, and
then just you know, whatever it is you want to
learn about or ask about that you ask, you know.
I think a lot of times with mentor menty relationships,
there's sort of the structured Okay, we meet every tw
week and do this and that. Well, there might be
a time where there's not really a lot on your mind.
For me, the most value is when I've got something
going on and I have a question or a dilemma
or a challenge that I need an answer to, then

I just reached right out someone, Hey, can I chat
with you? And in that time for him, they don't
even realize they've mentored me. The didn't even know it,
and a mentor, so I think I think that's been helpful.
As far as other support, I just have to say
that my husband has been such a rock star and
incredibly supportive about all the things that I want to

do in my career. I've really benefited from his ability
to really manage our family, you know, his career helping
support me and everything with our kids and all of that.
So that's been great. I can't even thank him enough
for that. That's what I call a cross sector partner. Sorry,
I count couldn't help it. Annie Crawley, thank you so

much for assessing the skills you have and offering them
to this very just cause of making an economic recovery
that can work for all. Great to meet you, great
to spend time with you. Thank you all right today,
Thank you so much. It was great to meet you,
and thank you again for having me on today. You're

listening to a podcast called Force Multiplier, Action meets Impact.
Now you've probably grown to expect ads inside your podcast,
but we're gonna do something a little bit different to
walk the walk. We're gonna take a quick break and
hear from one of the organizations featured in this episode.
Be right Back. Good Will makes back to school shopping

as easy as a b c art. Supplies and accessories,
backpacks and books, clothing and calculators. Your local Goodwill store
has unique, one of a kind items at the right price.
When the bell rings be dressed to impress with styl
of selections and fashionable fines. And when you shop at Goodwill,

you help create job placement and training programs in your
own community. Teachers head back to class and style. Your
local Goodwill store has casual, comfortable clothing and shoes for
those long days on your feet. Find everything you need
for science projects and arts and crafts activities. Keep your
classroom organized with baskets and bins for storage, all at

the right price to fit your budget. It's never too
late to go back to school. Your local Goodwill has
you covered. Earn your g e d. High school diploma
or professional certificate. Train for careers in technology, health care, hospitality, manufacturing,

and other in demand jobs, all at no cost to you.
Goodwill uses the revenue generated from our stores to create
job placement into any programs in your own community. Find
out more at Goodwill dot org. Hey you, it's Baritone Day,
host of the podcast you're listening to right now. When

I was a kid, my mom told me to come
up with a system we could live under after democracy
had failed. Yeah, my mom was intense. I haven't finished
that assignment, but I did make a podcast. It's called
how does Citizen? With Baritone Day. It reimagines citizen as
a verb and reminds us how to wield our collective power.
Find seasons one and two and whatever podcasts app using

right now? And season three all about Tech, drops in October.
Learn more at how does Citizen dot com. Community colleges
are the most inclusive of all of higher education right
we are that great open door that is inclusive, low

barriers to entry. Can come full time or part time,
and we're going to meet you where you are. As
president of Ivy Tech Community College. Who else? Berman considers
herself privilege to serve the Indiana community. She's unwavering in
her pursuit of a fair and equitable education system for all,
meeting students where they are and providing them with the

services and support needed to achieve their higher education goals.
So at IVY Tech we serve such a wide range
of students. Let me talk about who some of those
students are in high school. We will see those students
as early as fourteen or fifteen years old. We serve

over sixty thousand students a year in dual credit in
these early college programs, as well as students who think
they're going to want to go into the workplace after
high school, and they will go in our career and
technical education programs here on our campuses nineteen campus says
across Indiana, we will have thousands of traditional age students

who will come full time or part time, making a
four year degree affordable and will transfer to a four
year program. And of those traditional age students, some of
our programs include things like an accelerated associate degree, so
we call that asap. They will receive an associate degree

in one year. I remember the story of two twins.
One got into ball State in education. The other twin
came to IVY Tech because she wasn't accepted into their
school of education. She went through the accelerated program in
one year for about half the dollars, and then return

to Ball State to be a year ahead of her sister.
So those are some of the hidden gems that you
find at a community college. But the majority of our students,
almost se are part time, working adults, many or low
income students of color, first generation, and they come to

us with the hope that they can succeed, and so
closing the opportunity gap and ensuring equitable access to education
is top priority. I can say for all community colleges,
but certainly for IVY Tech. Community colleges are the most
affordable higher education institution in the country, less than a

hundred fifty dollars of credit hours. So think about that,
four hundred fifty dollars for a course, four thousand dollars
a year to be a full time student. That's hard
to fathom when you compare the cost of traditional higher
education public or private. In community colleges, our students are strapped.
Most of them are on some kind of federal financial aid,

but they're also independent students trying to take our families
and by the time they pay their tuition. Even at
a hundred fifty dollars of credit hour, there's nothing left
to pay for their books. I remember in my first
year here traveling to Gary, Indiana one of our Accelerated
Associate Degree ASAP classes, which means the students were taking

twice the credit hours. They aren't supposed to work when
they're in a SAP because it's more than forty hours
a week in the classroom, and yet these students were
working thirty hours a week, and because they couldn't afford
their books, they were sharing them. So can you imagine
going to school taking twice the credit hours of full

time student working thirty hours and now sharing a book.
So from that day on, I had to figure out
how could we include the cost of books and course
materials into tuition And this year we accomplished it, and
so being able to meet our students where they are,
eliminate evermore barriers and allowed them to do the part

they need to do, which is learning, but take all
those other barriers out of their way, things like emergency funds.
We had an agreement with Uber to help ensure that
students could get here and back. We're working with our
state to provide childcare vouchers for students because they need

that dropping care. They don't need all day, but they
need that ability to come in and our single parents
clearly have the most challenge of being here. So about
three years ago, pre pandemic, we started working with the
Education Design Lab on a program for single moms and

we began conceptualizing if we could create a modality that
allowed some freedom for that parent on the night when
their child is sick, or if their work schedule changed,
what could we do, And so we began to conceptualize
this model we called Learn Anywhere. The parent could come

in person if they could, they could be remote like Zoom,
or they could take the class asynchronous lee. Now, interestingly,
we conceptualize that all right before the pandemic. We were
getting ready to pilot. The pandemic hit and then we realized, oh,
everyone could benefit by Learn Anywhere, and so as a college,

we stood up hundreds of sections of Learn Anywhere last fall,
and now as we go into this year, more than
ten of our offerings are in a learn Anywhere modality,
and it is truly to the credit of our innovative
faculty who understand how important it is to meet students
where they are. We really want every student to know

that they can come to IVY Tech. So that can
be that high school dropout who got their g e
d And now wants to come back, that single parent,
that student of color, first generation, that low income student,
it could be the person who was incarcerated. Community colleges

have learned to adapt to that broad range of human needs.
So IVY Tech has a really important mission to the
state of Indiana as we are Indiana's workforce engine. We
are the community college system for the entire state. And

so our big vision is fifty thousand associate degrees, certificates
and high quality certifications. And we define those high quality
certifications as those that a graduate will earn above median
wage upon graduation. In order to reach that big goal,

by we can't do it alone, so we lean into
technology g We are using the best technology tools we
can to offer online training, to provide the best lab
settings to enable our students to get the best experience.

But in addition to all of that, we have to
have partnerships with every sector of industry. So, for instance,
we stood up something we call Achieve Your Degree, which
began with one of our banks in Southern Indiana Old
National Bank who said, we want to help our workers,

our employees continue to skill up, but we knew that
tuition reimbursement doesn't work. If you're an entry level employee.
You don't have a thousand dollars to pay out a
front of tuition. So they understood that we needed to
flip the model where the employer pays the tuition at
the end of the term. We work together to decide

what degrees and credentials that company may want to offer
that they know they need additional I. T. Professionals or
accounting professionals or whatever those areas that they want filled,
so that it is truly wrap around within the company
for the employee and the employee never pays out of pocket.

So that turned into a statewide program that is co
marketed with our Indiana Chamber of Commerce. We have over
two hundred fifty companies statewide who use that Achieve your
Degree model. So what a beautiful partnership that has been
again meeting that adult worker where they are. But we

also have partnerships with our Indiana Department of Corrections. Think
about the thousands of incarcerated individuals who are going to
come out and without a meaningful credential, will be forced
into a minimum age job. So we've come alongside the

Department of Corrections and we are offering certificates and certifications
of high value which will allow those graduates of ours,
those who are ex offenders to come out and truly
have a second chance at a good career, one that
will be able to provide for their families and give

them something to really hold their head up in their community.
We want to put more community in community college. We
want to be integral to every community in which we serve. Clearly,
when we think about force multipliers, it is in our partnering.

It is in being open to partnering with anyone and everyone,
from our industry partners, to our four year partners, to
our K twelve partners, to our Department of correction as partners,
to our nonprofit partners. It is in those partnerships that
we discover ways we can work so much better in

benefit of the student. It's not harder, it makes it easier,
it's often cheaper, it's better and their longer term results
because we don't depend on just one. If one of
us has difficulties, there are seven other partners who can
step in and help fill that void. And I think

in times of challenges we learn that it is in
those friends, those relationships we create together, we innovate together,
and as we do that together, we discover ever better
ways of serving one another. I would always encourage people

who want to be involved to get out there and
just offer yourself. That may be in your elementary school
or high school, it may be offering that in a nonprofit,
be it a Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, through your church.
To offer your gifts and talents. For me, that was

my problem, solving skills and bringing groups together and coming
up with creative solutions. But I think each of us
have those gifts and talents that we we know we
have them and we enjoy using them. So putting them
out there into the public square. And if there's anything
we need more in the world, it's good people who

will put themselves in public service for the right reasons
to help their community, state, and nation. I admit I'm
impressed that these institutions, which have been around for so long,
have modeled how to adapt to the changing environment, to

the changing economy, and they're working hard to help the
people they serve do the same for goodwill. This is
meant leaning on is one fifty six local operations and
the knowledge that they have of their community needs, then
building on that with others in efforts like the Rising
Together coalition. As Annie Crawley said, the goal isn't to

give away fish, but teach people how now community is
where all this happens or doesn't. So, of course, the
president of Ivy Tech Community College, Sue else Perman, is
in a perfect position to help that already inclusive institution
do even more. Offering flexible learn anywhere courses first to moms,

then to all students is the sort of evolution we
should all embrace, and creatively partnering with everyone from the
Chamber of Commerce to the Department of Corrections is a
sort of broad based coalition we all need. Collaboration is
the only way to take on challenges as big as
workforce development, and doing it together can work a lot

better than going it alone, especially like what Sue said
about partners being able to help each other out pick
up the slack if one slips or struggles in a
certain area. Collaboration is an asset, not a liability. As
for what you and I can do to help our communities.

Both Annie and Sue share the same advice independently, figure
out what we're good at and offer those skills right
where we live and work. I'll see you out there
helping out, and I'll see you next time on Force Multiplier.

Do you want to dig in more on today's guests
and the work they're doing, or maybe you want to
understand what action you can take in your community. Either way,
go to salesforce dot org slash force multiplier. That's one word,
force multiplier. Force Multiplier is a production of I Heart
Radio and Salesforce dot Org. Hosted by me Barritton day Thurston.

It's executive produced by Elizabeth Stewart, produced by Ivan Chien,
and engineered, edited and mixed by James Foster. Join us
next time for more stories of how we can change
the world, one relationship at a time. Listen to Force
Multiplier on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or
wherever you get your podcast
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