Village Capital

Workforce of the Future Forum

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Date: November 5|Location: Chicago, IL

According to the World Economic Forum, almost half of employees around the world will need some sort of reskilling by 2022. Nearly two thirds of the U.S. workforce will require additional training for their jobs in the next decade. Any company that fails to prepare its workers with the tools and skills they’ll need to do their job in the future will be at a major disadvantage. Village Capital and Autodesk Foundation co-hosted a forum to connect H&R and L&D executives, workforce development leaders, and investors to one another and to startups that are building solutions that train workers for the jobs of the future. 

The forum brought together 100 senior leaders from across the country whose companies are focused on upskilling and reskilling portions of their workforce to help them remain competitive and prepare for the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It also showcased technological innovations that are helping to bridge this gap effectively. Topics covered include trends in upskilling and reskilling workers for jobs of the future, successful initiatives that employers have implemented at their organizations, how to identify future skills gaps, and how to measure training program effectiveness.

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Panel: Setting the Stage: Current Trends in Upskilling & Reskilling Workers

The panel discussed current trends in upskilling and reskilling workers for jobs of the future.

  • Jacqueline Black: Director, Strategic Alliances, US Jobs, Consumer Technology Association

  • Brandon Busteed: President, Kaplan University Partners

  • Jaime Fall: Director of Upskill America, The Aspen Institute

  • Michael Griffiths: Learning and Workforce Mobility Consulting Practice Lead, Deloitte Consulting LLP

  • Shweta Srivastava: Director of 21st Century Employability, Microsoft

  • Melanie Anderson: EVP, National Association of Workforce Development Boards

Lessons Learned: Retraining Workers for Jobs of the Future

This panel included executives who have successfully implemented employee retraining initiatives within their organizations to improve employee engagement, retention, and long-term company growth.

  • Jon Kaplan: former Chief Learning Officer, Discover Financial Services (Moderator)

  • Frank Britt: CEO, Penn Foster

  • Brandon Busteed: President, Kaplan University Partners

  • Rob Lauber: SVP & Chief Learning Officer, McDonald’s

  • Breck Marshall: Principal, PricewaterhouseCoopers

  • Vicki Stokes: Senior Manager, Training Development, Discover Financial Services


  • Tracie Neuhaus: Monitor by Deloitte (read her research)

Startup Showcase

Workforce Forum startups

We brought together 20 startups from around the United States and Canada that are currently building solutions that upskill or reskill workers. These companies provide training solutions, access to diverse talent pools, and talent assessment tools. Learn more about what the startups below.

  • Boon (Los Angeles, CA): Boon is a gamified referral talent marketplace empowered with AI.

  • BridgeCare (Seattle, WA): an AI-powered employee benefit that helps working parents find and afford childcare

  • CASEWORX (Long Beach, CA): CASEWORX builds better decision-makers through story, delivering cinematic, interactive learning scenarios across HigherEd and the Workplace.

  • CyberVista (Arlington, VA): provides individuals and organizations with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to close the cyber security skills gap

  • CosmoSafe (New York, NY): a digital learning platform that bridges the gap between traditional cosmetology education and gig economy beauty jobs 

  • Crescendo (Toronto, Canada): a behavior change platform that helps companies build a more inclusive workplace culture

  • Degreed (San Francisco, CA): a better, smarter way to discover, learn and measure the skills you need for the future

  • Forefront (St. Louis, MO): a mobile-first learning application for global and remote teams that develops culturally smart leaders at work

  • GreenFig (San Francisco, CA): the only provider of Applied Business Science Certification Programs that enable higher education institutions to rapidly address the digital skills gap and create job ready talent for today’s workforce

  • Interapt (Louisville, KY): a Midwest IT Services company that created one of the country’s first IT Apprenticeship programs and has partnered with General Assembly to bring tech skills and tech jobs to secondary markets

  • JobBliss (Oakville, Canada): a freelance team management platform that allows companies to build, manage, and track their freelance and contract workforce

  • LaborX (Boston, MA): the LinkedIn for the Linkedout, a talent marketplace connecting untapped talent from the workforce training ecosystem to unfilled jobs

  • Localized (Washington, DC): a career tech platform that connects college students and recent graduates in emerging markets to industry experts and employers looking for top talent

  • Marlow (San Francisco, CA): a personalized coaching platform that gives professionals the unique support they need to achieve success and happiness in their careers

  • Parker Dewey (Chicago, IL): facilitates Micro-Internships to help companies improve campus recruiting, enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion, and provide immediate support to busy professionals

  • Skillist (Boston, MA): a skill-based job application platform that makes it possible for companies to hire the best people based on what they can do instead of where they come from

  • Solve (Chicago, IL): connects people to jobs, training programs, career fairs, housing, childcare, legal counseling, and mental health resources to Solve all the barriers to employment

  • SkyHive (Vancouver, Canada): uses AI to drive unparalleled insights into the skill set of a workforce, supporting rapid reskilling and upskilling while empowering individuals and companies to thrive in the future of work

  • StellarEmploy (New York, NY): a recruiting solution for frontline staffing that uses predictive analytics to help companies hire quality people with confidence

  • TRANSFR (New York, NY): pre-apprenticeship VR job training simulations that prepare young adults for middle skilled jobs

Learn more about other Village Capital Future of Work initiatives.