This week’s episode explores the work of Merit America, a nonprofit that helps working adults earn professional certifications toward better-paying jobs.

A wide range of education and training providers strive to help working adults enter or advance in the workforce. Community colleges and a growing number of other nonprofit and for-profit universities are intensifying their longstanding efforts. Companies like Amazon, Google and others are investing in their own programs, with and without colleges. And an almost endless array of startups, funded by investors seeing a new market, are creating shorter, less expensive programs aimed at getting people into well-paying jobs fast and without significant time out of the workforce.

This episode of The Key explores another approach to serving working adults. Merit America is a nonprofit organization that connects adults to short-term certification programs and to professional coaches to help move them quickly into high-demand jobs like IT support and data analytics. Its co-CEOs, Rebecca Taber Staehelin and Connor Diemand-Yauman, join The Key to talk about their work and how it fits into the larger landscape for working adults. They’ll discuss their unusual mix of corporate and philanthropic funding, how they think training providers like them should be judged, and how they plan to grow from about 1,500 learners this year to 10,000 and ultimately 100,000.

Hosted by Inside Higher Ed Co-founder and Editor Doug Lederman.

This episode of The Key is sponsored by ECMC Foundation.  



Episode Transcripts

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