Build Momentum season 4 cover with headshot of Joel Vargas
Season 4
|
Episode
7

The Big Blur | Joel Vargas, Vice President, Jobs for the Future

In this episode of Build Momentum, we are joined by Joel Vargas of Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit that focuses on strategies to transform education and workforce systems. Vargas is vice president of JFF’s Education practice, which supports systems change in the education ecosystem, influences policies that promote diverse pathways, and identifies and applies data-informed, learner-centered solutions. Before joining JFF, Vargas directed, initiated, and studied programs designed to help students from populations underrepresented in post-secondary education enter and complete college.

31:49

In this episode of Build Momentum, we are joined by Joel Vargas of Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit  that focuses on strategies to transform education and workforce systems. Vargas is vice president of JFF’s Education practice, which supports systems change in the education ecosystem, influences policies that promote diverse pathways, and identifies and applies data-informed, learner-centered solutions. Before joining JFF, Vargas directed, initiated, and studied programs designed to help students from populations underrepresented in post-secondary education enter and complete college.

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Tell us more about Jobs for the Future. (01:18)
  • How have you seen districts prioritize workforce development? (03:43)
  • How are effective are educators at transmitting this shift to students and parents? (06:56)
  • What’s The Big Blur and what impact is it having? (11:08)
  • Is there an increase in public-private partnership in terms of workforce development? (16:37)
  • What are some successful funding strategies for district partnerships? (20:20)
  • How do you feel about AI? (22:29)
  • Tell us more about how you share your success stories across the education community? (25:15)
  • What are you most hopeful about for the future of workforce development? (27:20)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • All about Jobs for the Future (01:30)
  • Joel’s thoughts on districts prioritizing workforce development (04:05)
  • How this shift in priorities is transmitted to students and parents (07:37)
  • The Big Blur as a principle for organizing older adolescents’ learning (11:20)
  • Public-private partnerships in workforce development (17:07)
  • Funding strategies for district partnerships (20:35)
  • Joel’s thoughts about AI (22:50)
  • Tips for sharing successful stories across the education community (25:33)
  • Joel’s hopes for the future of workforce development (27:27)


Quotes:

“We really think we need the ‘power of us’ in this day and age—and frankly, in this political climate—to get some of these things done. So we're going to have an explicit focus on policy.

“Young people have to start working earlier, out of necessity. And our systems don't support learning and working at the same time. So we said, ‘What we need to do is blur all the systems.’”

“Our Pathways to Prosperity network just celebrated 10 years. We've worked with well over 30 communities, states, and regions over the last 10 years to advance these kinds of college and career pathways.”


Stay in touch with Jobs for the Future:
Email: jvargas@jff.org


Stay in touch with Sarah Williamson:
Free Case Study Guide

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Stay in touch with Chad Bolser:
LinkedIn

About "The Secret to Transformational Leadership," which Sarah co-authored with Dr. Quintin Shepherd:
Transformational Leadership Secret website

Purchase the print or ebook

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