A Skills-First Mindset

A Skills-First Mindset: Connecting Black Talent to Family-Sustaining Jobs

Today on the show, Julien speaks with Maurice Jones, the CEO of the non-profit OneTen. OneTen is a coalition of leading chief executives and their companies who are coming together to upskill, hire, and promote one million Black Americans over the next 10 years who do not yet have a four-year degree into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. Prior to joining OneTen, Maurice was the President and CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the country’s largest organizations supporting projects to revitalize communities and catalyze economic opportunity for residents.

He previously served as Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia where his primary job was to leverage Virginia’s assets to solidify its position as the preeminent place to live, work and conduct business. Maurice also served as Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from April 2012 through January 2014. As the second most senior official at HUD, Maurice managed the Department’s day-to-day operations, the annual operating budget of $40 billion and the agency’s 8,900 employees.

Maurice received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampden-Sydney College and attended Oxford University in England on a Rhodes Scholarship, where he received a Master of Philosophy in International Relations. He later received a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia.

A Skills-First Mindset

Today we discuss:

  • With 11 million job openings, we discuss why it’s critical that we shift our national standard for job qualification from primarily academic credentials or experience, to a focus on measurable and tangible skills.
  • Addressing inherited poverty by connecting Black talent to family-sustaining wages that offer entry to the middle class and that are accessible (don’t require a 4-year degree), offer advancement opportunities, and are secure over the long term (unlikely to be automated).
  • Why building an ecosystem that connects employers and skilled workers will drive our national economic potential and benefit all of us.
  • Three critical actions for inclusive leaders to take that support “OneTeners”—build a skills-first culture, mentor and sponsor new hires, and create a culture of belonging where authenticity is valued.

Additional Resources:

Our host, Julien Geiser, is the Director of Corporate Support at Greatheart Consulting. Greatheart develops inclusive leaders for courageous cultures by focusing on practical behaviors that can help build relationships of trust and accountability across all aspects of identity. To learn more about their work, visit www.greatheartconsulting.com.

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