By Joseph Semsar, Associate Consultant
Five months ago, Associate Consultant Sam Williford and I began working on a study, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to identify truly effective employer-driven job training programs. Yesterday, June 18th — after consulting over 450 reports, articles, and case studies, interviewing over 20 workforce development experts, and, lastly, after reaching out to over 130 employers — we finally had our first site visit with Penn Medicine’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Judy Schueler, and the Associate Director of the Penn Medicine Academy, Frances L. Graham.
Sam and I began our research by interviewing workforce development experts, with hopes of identifying best practices for training employees and employers that were implementing many of these promising training tactics. These interviews, and our own reconnaissance efforts, led us to then reach out to over 130 employers about what they were doing to train their employees and provide them with upward mobility.
After narrowing this field down to the 15 employers, we have now begun a six week effort to hold in-person site visits with these companies. All of the companies we plan on visiting, which are all across America, are on the frontline of providing employees with talent development and career advancement opportunities.
It is our belief, and the belief of the Annie E. Casey foundation, that these site visits will help us better understand WHY employers have decided to heavily invest in the training and development of all of their employees. We hope to complete our job-centered economic development strategies report by Labor Day weekend, so check back then for the release of our study!
Associate Consultants Sam Williford (left) and Joe Semsar (one from right) meet with Chief Human Resources Officer Judy Schueler (one from left) and Associate Director of the Penn Medicine Academy Frances Graham (right).