Millions of people lost jobs in the pandemic. SkillUp Coalition, an inspiring movement, is helping them bounce back.
How SkillUp Coalition is empowering displaced learners and workers with the skills to secure jobs of the future
Josh Jarrett, co-founder of the SkillUp Coalition, which provides a one-stop platform to help jobseekers and learners get the knowledge, skills, and connections they need for in-demand jobs
How to help displaced workers and learners during COVID-19 shutdowns, which created an unemployment crisis, leaving millions to fall behind
Connect SkillUp with businesses and upskilling programs and provide funding to empower people to pursue better learning and career pathways
In its first year, 450,000 workers supported, 72% were women and African Americans, earning less than 40,000 a year, and without a bachelor’s degree
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Josh Jarrett knew he had to act.
An entrepreneur in the education and workspace, Josh saw that millions of people were losing their jobs — jobs they might never get back. But he wasn’t content to let so many Americans struggle with unemployment when they could gain the skills and knowledge they needed to get back on their feet. Better yet, they could even get good-paying jobs in fast-growing industries.
So, Josh co-founded and led the development of the SkillUp Coalition in the middle of the pandemic: July 2020. He had a vision to unite businesses, educators, philanthropies, and community groups to provide cutting-edge and customized upskilling training to displaced workers and people seeking a better learning and career pathway.
How it works: The one-stop platform empowers learners and workers to build personalized career paths based on their experience, skills, and interests. It then provides them with access to low-cost training programs (many of which are less than 12 weeks) they need to be equipped for jobs that are in demand. Once completed, jobseekers can apply directly for openings with willing employers who have also signed up on the platform to find new talent.
Josh wanted to do it all free of charge to help those who needed it most.
Economic shutdowns destroyed 22 million jobs. Plus, technology is reshaping the workplace. How can workers keep up? SkillUp!
Empowering millions of workers to upskill is tough in normal times. It’s even harder in the middle of a pandemic. To get the funding and connections he needed, Josh partnered with the Stand Together community.
“Our partnership with the Stand Together community has allowed us to both expand our reach and deepen our impact on those workers and learners who need us most.”
SkillUp was a natural partner for our community. It’s the definition of a bottom-up, individualized approach that empowers people to discover their aptitudes and best learning and career path.
Several members of the Stand Together community immediately saw that it’s a timely project to expand economic opportunity, challenge the status quo in education, and inspire a diversity of people to help solve problems worsened by the pandemic.
Funding committed by the Stand Together community since 2020
Businesses, educational organizations, and community groups part of the SkillUp Coalition
Since 2020, SkillUp has partnered with the Stand Together community in a variety of ways:
- SkillUp needed help breaking down the biggest barriers for people looking to upskill: Self-doubt and financial assistance. With communications support from Stand Together, SkillUp launched the SkillUp Together Fund. This was followed up by over $3.6 million in commitments from the Stand Together community, including $2.8 million from the Charles Koch Foundation — funding that SkillUp has leveraged to provide immediate support for tuition assistance, childcare, and internet service.
- SkillUp wanted to supersize its coalition. The Stand Together community brought SkillUp to our community of partners and business leaders, forging 20 connections that will help grow its impact.
- SkillUp envisioned doing even more for workers. The Stand Together community connected SkillUp to localized support efforts across the country, bringing a deeper level of career and training support to specific regions. Many of the support efforts use new models, like LevelUp Northern Nevada, which pays workers while they learn new skills.
See the impact SkillUp had on one student’s career and life
Users supported on the SkillUp Platform, with 10,000 accessing training weekly in its first year
Average annual increase in income for SkillUp Together Fund workers who complete the program and find a new job through SkillUp
SkillUp is on track to serve one million workers by June 2022. They’ll be empowered to find jobs in high-growth industries like technology and health care and in-demand skilled trades.
That’s exactly what’s needed coming out of the pandemic. Now is the time to help jobseekers get back on their feet and make their mark on the economy’s future.
Workers on track to find better, higher-paying jobs by June 2022
What You Can Do
Learn More: Explore our diverse partnerships helping workers thrive in upskilling programs, skilled trades to strengthen our economy.
Partner With Us: Tell us your vision for empowering learners and workers and expanding economic and education opportunity.
Get involved: Donate to the SkillUp Together Fund to help struggling workers move into high-growth careers.