CooleyED Panel — Growing Demand for Workforce Training

Learn In
3 min readFeb 3, 2021

February 2, 2021 Learn In’s CEO, David Blake was joined by a panel of entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the trends impacting workforce training and the growing demand of upskilling. The panel, which brought a slew of unique and different perspectives to the table, was orchestrated and moderated by Cooley’s Danielle Naftulin, who was able to connect the unique points made by the panelist. Georgene Huang, the CEO and Co-Founder of Fairygodboss, advocated for women in the workplace and the importance of having your employees teach other colleagues as an approach to internal education. A partner at IBIS Capital, Vincent Fung, discussed global upskilling trends and forecasted economic ramifications of workforce training. Mark Grovic from New Markets Venture Partners explored the root causes of the skills gap in early education, K-12 education, and higher education. And finally, David Blake challenged our current beliefs in traditional college education and contrasted that with the universally positive ROI of upskilling in the workplace.

This conversation was exceptionally powerful as the panelist brought their vast experience to the table, covering a breadth and depth of topics. The recording will be linked when it’s available, but for now, here are a few notable themes and quotes.

Traditional College Education

  • “The number one reason students go to college is to get a job, yet employers are rarely involved in the curriculum which leads us to a large skills gap.” — Grovic
  • You will learn more from your company than you will from your university and traditional education.” Blake

DEI + Upskilling

  • “At Learn In, we began to look at the barriers to upskilling: Time and Money. Those barriers leave behind people of diverse backgrounds, and in the long-tail, will continue to expand the wedge between employees.”Blake
  • “900,000 more women left the workforce than men in 2020 because they are positioned as the primary caretaker.” — Huang
  • “The average number of age-appropriate books owned by a 5-year-old in Beverly Hills, CA, is 100 books. The average number of age-appropriate books owned by a 5-year-old in Watts, CA, is 0.5 books. The long-term ramifications of this unbalanced early-childhood education are tremendous.” — Grovic

Global Upskilling Trends

  • “Europe, India, and other countries have really mastered the science of apprenticeship training in order to teach future employees verses relying only on traditional classroom education.” — Fung
  • “Government policy needs to catch-up.” — Fung

Corporate Upskilling Perspectives

  • “We have a rich, large, vibrant ecosystem of micro-learning, everything from podcasting to MOOCs. Now we’ll see a tremendous shift to big learning and synchronous learning to ensure that employees can truly level up.” Blake
  • “I think that people view job changes as a way to take control of their own upskilling. Career and view job changes are viewed as learning opportunities.”- Huang
  • “When corporate upskilling is universally ROI positive, companies need to allocate time for employees to learn and prioritize learning.” Blake

This conversation is recommended for anyone interested in learning more about the impacts of early childhood education, L&D strategies by company size/stage, and how countries around the world upskill.

Thank you, CooleyED, for inviting Learn In to join in this discussion.

Written By:

Michelle Vock

Originally published at



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