New advisory board aims to improve workforce outcomes for learners

By Laura Devaney
December 15th, 2015

Leaders from industry, education and government collaborate to help bridge the gap between college and the workplace

workforce-boardAccording to a Gallup study, while 96 percent of Chief Academic Officers rate their institution as either very or somewhat effective at preparing students for the world of work, only 11 percent of business leaders strongly agree graduating students have the skills and competencies that their business needs.

In an effort to help bridge the gap between higher education and the workplace to increase the employability of graduates, Pearson has established its Employability Advisory Board (EAB). Leveraging the expertise of leaders from education, industry and government, the EAB focuses on key issues facing employers and learners, and explores innovative solutions that increase the employability skills of learners.

The 16-member board includes representatives from organizations, such as the Marriott Hotel’s Carla Monterroso,’s Jaime Fall, Ohio Department of Education’s Linda O’Connor, and the National Restaurant Association’s Sherman Brown.

“The skills gap is a complex challenge that will require multi-faceted, collaborative solutions. It requires shifts to be made in how students are prepared for a dynamic global economy, shifts to be made in the public’s perceptions of occupations and industry, and the forging of new partnerships with employers. It is my hope that the EAB will uncover innovative strategies to fill these critical needs,” said Kimberly Green, executive director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc).

“I wanted to be a part of the EAB because I think we have an opportunity to bring together employers, educators and individuals to collaboratively develop programs that help students acquire the skills that they need, and secure the jobs they want, in order to move up the career ladders in the workplace,” said Jaime Fall, director, UpSkill America.

To help learners make a successful transition into the workforce, the EAB focuses on key issues centered around the competencies for successful, long-term employment opportunities. These include core academic competencies (reading, writing, mathematics and digital literacy), occupational competencies, personal and social capabilities which includes interpersonal skills and qualities, and career knowledge and transition skills to help learners manage their careers.

“As the world’s leading learning company, Pearson’s Employability Advisory Board initiative aims to connect our global network of educators, employers and institutions to close the skills gap, build a better-skilled workforce that can compete globally, and create sustained employability for the leaders of the 21st century workplace,” said Jonell Sanchez, VP, Global Employability and Career Success, Pearson.

To learn more about the EAB, including the complete list of board members and their biographies, visit this website.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

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