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Wipfli, alliance to help workers hit by COVID-19 gain skills for digital jobs

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Wipfli, as part of the Rework America Alliance, is collaborating with companies, organizations and public interest groups to help millions of workers gain new skills to meet the accelerated demand for digital jobs.

More than 30 million Americans are claiming jobless benefits due to COVID-19 and many will find that — if their jobs do come back — they will require new digital skills.

To support the growing demand for digital workers, Wipfli and Alliance members recognize that we need a new system of training workers that is rapid, affordable, effective and connected to good jobs.

“Across the United States, people are eager to get back to work. And companies are equally hungry for high-skilled employees to fill digital jobs,” said Wipfli’s Managing Partner Kurt Gresens. “We need to find a fast, flexible way to shorten the time it takes to train and place people in those jobs. Wipfli is proud to be a part of eliminating that gap.”

In addition to providing coaching and training, members of the alliance will identify high-demand jobs, help fuel the creation of more and identify ways to connect workers with jobs.

In addition to Wipfli, members of the alliance include the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Google, IBM, Microsoft, McKinsey & Company, Workday, North America’s Building Trades Union, the African American Mayor's Association, National Urban League, NAACP, UnidosUS and Arizona State University.

"Our expertise will be leveraged to help develop and deploy smart systems that help coaches train more workers," says Wipfli Principal Ryan Risley. Working together to combine solutions, resources and reach, the alliance will also focus on addressing the broken systems and entrenched inequality that is causing vulnerable populations hardest hit by COVID-19’s economic impact.

The alliance is being headed up by the Markle Foundation, a nonprofit organized in 1927 to fund traditional social welfare programs as well as projects that focused on medicine and medical research. More recently, the foundation has focused on increasing the value of lifelong learning and skills in a digital economy over traditional credentials.