Expanding Workforce Development Will Assist Those Facing Challenges Related to Sustaining Employment

October 10, 2023
Michael Horn


Recently, workforce development has taken on a new urgency, given the widening economic divide and the challenges faced by marginalized communities. With the gig economy rising and traditional jobs evolving, there’s an increasing demand for skills training and personal development, especially among those facing systemic barriers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 5.9 million Americans were unemployed as of 2022. But what does it really take to equip these individuals for sustainable employment, especially when barriers like poverty, homelessness, and a criminal record stand in the way?

Additionally, how can we bridge this divide and bring about meaningful change in the lives of those often left behind?

On the newest segment of “The Future of Education,” host Michael Horn is joined by Dr. Kathleen Caliento, the President and CEO of CARA Collective. Together, they explored the mission and impact of CARA Collective, and surveyed the organization’s holistic approach to workforce development.

Several points from Horn and Caliento’s discussion touched on:

  • CARA Collective’s unique method combines both personal and professional training to prepare individuals for the workforce. This includes emotional workshops like “Love and Forgiveness.”
  • How its services extend to other life challenges, such as housing, health care, child care, and legal support, recognizing that a job alone isn’t the only barrier to a stable life.
  • The organization’s effort to work with other workforce development organizations and employers, the collective is making a broad impact.

Dr. Kathleen Caliento earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Science Education. Dr. Caliento’s journey has been fueled by a passion for equity and access. Daughter to Haitian immigrants, she understands the challenges many face in seeking opportunity and recognition. Her diverse experience, spanning from education reform to workforce development, provides a rich backdrop to her current leadership at CARA Collective.

Article written by Alexandra Simon.

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