Andy Hall, COO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership, explores the concept of income sharing agreements (ISAs), where employers, philanthropy and impact investors pitch in for an individual’s education and training tuition, which is then paid back over time out of the person’s paycheck. Series: “The Career Channel”
Income Sharing Agreements With Andy Hall
It's good to see so many people out here that I know. So thanks for coming. It's pretty much impossible to go to one of these events and not have some experts debate how long it it'll be before robots take over our jobs and we're relegated to a life of servitude and universal basic income. And they can opine and we're not going to do that today. So you're welcome. But the one thing that pretty much all experts and labor market economists and work for so many people think about and talk about and agree on is how important lifelong learning is for our world today and the 21st century innovation economy and the days of going to high school and getting your degree and then working in your job for the rest of your life and retiring are certainly look to be over. And lifelong learning is the name of the game. So how do we pay for it. There is a lot of good things going on with the college system around free community college and so our community college colleagues in the room a little shout out their work is commended and needs to be supported and accelerated other ways that we pay for lifelong learning is we ask families and workers to pay for out of pocket. There's federal grants and loans so let's talk about those three things Wolf as you heard from Elizabeth. It's becoming increasingly hard for California families to pay for upskilling out-of-pocket. Four out of 10 Californians are living in or below poverty.
And we are in first place in the country and that we're actually have the most high percentage of families living in poverty of any state in the United States. When you adjust for housing costs. Many of these working families are many of these families are actually working 80 percent of these families are working. And so there one root canal away or one fender bender away from financial ruin. So asking these families and these workers to finance their upskilling so they can get their piece of the 21st century innovation economy is not just bad for those families and those workers but it's bad for business as we kind of fight this global war for talent with one hand behind our back. The other way we think about upskilling and worker retraining as federal grants and this is a big piece of our business. Peter has talked about it we fund millions of dollars over the last four years in worker retraining grants for upskilling or last 17 years there's been about a 50 percent cut nationwide in those funds. And so the ability for us to continue to finance that is going down while the need for lifelong learning is going up. And you know advocacy in budgets and trends and forecasts are all kind of political and business exercises until you kind of see a human being on the other side of it and that's what I had a chance to do recently. Every year a research team we survey every single person the thousands of people leaving our job centers and we get a pretty good response rates actually we got about 4500 people responded and said we asked them two simple questions. And one of them is were you satisfied with the services you got. Eighty five percent said yes.
Which is pretty good as these things go and 15 percent said no. I read every single one of the comments of those 15 percent of the people who said no. And one trend stood out. The biggest reason why people were not satisfied their services is because we ran out of money to fund their lifelong learning and upskilling. And this particular open ended comments it out to me and I'll let you read it. But it just absolutely broke my heart. Like this. This young lady is with the November 2007 17. She said You know I did a career aptitude test. I confirmed my desire that my my skills and interests and values aren't aligned with my current career path. I want to make a switch I want to continue to learn. I was also eligible for training and for those of you know who are in this business. Most eligibility is driven by poverty or are severe barriers to employment so this person really needed this. But we couldn't provide the training because we didn't. We ran out of money. And this is happening increasingly as the federal budget.