Brave New Workforce: How To Prepare Your Organization for Tomorrow’s Jobs
Michelle Westfort

Virtual Think Tank Series

Brave New Workforce: How To Prepare Your Organization for Tomorrow’s Jobs

Thursday, April 8, 2021 • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (ET)

With the rise of digital transformation, traditional paths for employee learning and education have been rendered inefficient or null. And despite the economic uncertainty, the COVID19 pandemic further accelerated the global shift towards digitization — heightening the need for updated skills to meet the demands of new technologies and the jobs of the future.

In a recent InStride survey*, 68% of decision-makers noted that their organizations’ skills gaps have widened since the COVID-19 pandemic began and that traditional education programs are not reaching enough people to foster talent development and close these gaps.

Now, many business leaders question what’s effective, what’s important, and what will actually move the needle towards meaningful business outcomes in the future. For this interactive Virtual Think Tank, join us to discuss key challenges and opportunities for organizations planning for the future of workforce education in a post-pandemic world, including:

  • Can human skills impact the work of the future? If so, how does a workforce with training in critical thinking produce business outcomes
  • How can we develop efficient, scalable and effective learning initiatives that prepare your employees for the jobs of tomorrow?
  • How do we effectively integrate learning into existing employee workflows and unlock economic mobility? What does a culture of learning that’s ripe for growth look like?

*InStride. (2020, October 1). “The data is in: C-suite executives value talent development (and why you should too)”

Michelle Westfort
Chief University Officer

Dr. Michelle Westfort brings more than 20 years of professional experience in higher education programs and partnerships to InStride. In her current role as Chief University Officer, she oversees the vision of education pathways and leads the development of InStride’s highly curated global network of academic partners, which includes top tier research universities.

Prior to joining InStride, Michelle was the Vice President of Business Development for The Learning House (acquired by Wiley) where she was responsible for developing higher education partnerships to build online programs. Previously, she held leadership positions at Pivot Worldwide, building workforce development opportunities for global learners and at Navitas, the Australian based pathway provider responsible for expanding enrollments at US-based public universities from major markets including the Middle East, China and Latin America.

Michelle focused her early career on high school partnerships that inspired creative learning at The Art Institutes where she led recruitment, business development, marketing and admissions teams. She started her career at Snelling Search, helping build the first online platform for recent college graduates beginning their careers in finance.

Michelle has also devoted her time to volunteer causes as the Director of Commit2Change’s Campus Ambassador Program, a mentor to female leaders in the international education sector through Lead5050 and recently named “Exceptional Women’s Awardee” in April 2020.

She completed a certificate in strategy at Wharton Online and has studied at INSEAD in Singapore through a corporate-sponsored program and holds a Doctor of Education, Organizational Leadership from Argosy University, a Master of Arts from New Jersey City University and a Bachelor of Arts from Monmouth University and has taken courses through Harvard Extension and the University of California-Irvine.

Alex Hernandez
School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS)

Alex Hernandez was appointed Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) effective September 10, 2018. Before joining the University, he worked for a national education foundation, the Charter School Growth Fund, where he built one of the largest portfolios of innovative K12 schools in the country. He has years of experience expanding high-quality education programs and expertise in linking quality instruction with educational technology. Hernandez writes frequently about the future of learning, and has a special interest in increasing college access, success, and career readiness.

Hernandez launched his education career through a continuing studies program, which allowed him to teach high school math in South Los Angeles. He later became an administrator for Portland Public Schools in Oregon, and then an area superintendent for Aspire Public Schools in California. Prior to entering the field of education, he worked at Steamboat Ventures, Disney’s venture capital arm, and at J.P. Morgan.

Hernandez has an MBA and MA in Education from Stanford University, and a BA from Claremont McKenna College. He is a moderator for the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a Pahara-Aspen Fellow

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