Jun 18 2024

Postsecondary Spotlight on Workforce Training Pathways

Grantmakers for Education


June 18, 1:00 pm ET

A growing body of evidence points to the ability of high-quality sectoral training programs to offer meaningful economic mobility opportunities especially for low-income individuals of color and their families. At the same time, questions about the value and relevance of a college degree continue to be asked by learners, employers and policymakers. "Alternative" education and training is increasingly mainstream, and high-quality postsecondary education and training doesn't always begin and end with a degree.

What does that mean for the education grantmaking community? It means we have an obligation to expand our understanding of what works for students and explore new pathways into economic and social mobility for learners from historically and economically marginalized communities.

This webinar engages a panel of national experts, including leaders of best-in-class nonprofit workforce training organizations and an experienced researcher, to discuss the continued growth and impact of short-term sectoral training programs, and what this growth means for 'traditional' higher education. This is a conversation that deserves more attention from postsecondary education leaders and funders, especially those concerned with lifelong learning, seamless pathways and equitable economic futures.

While others are welcome to attend, this event is intended for members and education grantmakers.

There is no cost to attend this Grantmakers for Education program. Registration closes 15 minutes prior to the program time. By registering for this program, you agree to our Learning Environment Commitment. Thank you for your patience; we review each registration in advance.

About the Speakers

Carolynn Lee

Carolynn Lee
Deputy Director
Ascendium Education Group

As a deputy director for grantmaking with Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy, Carolynn oversees grantmaking pipelines and supports program officers within and across strategic focus areas. Carolynn previously worked in grantmaking and community engagement roles at private and community foundations.

Noah Mitchell

Noah Mitchell
Deputy Chief Training Officer
Per Scholas

Noah Mitchell is the Deputy Chief Training Officer at Per Scholas. In this role, Noah is responsible for offering vital guidance and support in the development and execution of our training department’s strategic vision and initiatives. In his capacity, Noah oversees the comprehensive development and execution of training programs, placing a strong emphasis on fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional growth. His leadership extends to collaborating with cross-functional teams to identify industry trends, assess training needs, and design innovative solutions that align with Per Scholas’ mission and goals.

Noah has over ten years of educational management and people development experience and he has spent most of his adult life helping individuals to reach their full potential. As a seasoned professional, he consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership and transformative problem-solving abilities as well as has been an integral leader in optimizing organizational processes, implementing strategic initiatives, and fostering positive outcomes.

Beyond his leadership responsibilities, Noah is a talented writer and captivating public speaker. He firmly believes in the transformative power of laughter to enhance the learning experience. He earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in higher education in 2007, both from John Brown University. Moreover, Noah holds an MDiv degree with a specialization in African Diaspora. Noah is a Certified Life Coach, Talent Optimization Certified Consultant, and Predictive Index Partner.

Frieda Molina

Frieda Molina
Director of Economic Mobility, Housing, and Communities

Frieda Molina is the Director of the Economic Mobility, Housing, and Communities policy area at MDRC. She has over 30 years of experience providing technical and operational assistance to workforce development service providers and over 25 years of experience managing projects at MDRC. Frieda got her start in workforce development in the early 1990s when she worked on the first national demonstration project, funded by the Ford Foundation, which took a sectoral approach to helping historically marginalized communities access good-quality jobs in growth sectors of regional economies. At MDRC, she served as the project director of WorkAdvance, MDRC’s randomized controlled trial of four sector-focused workforce programs.

Rebecca Taber Staehelin

Rebecca Taber Staehelin
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Merit America

Rebecca Taber Staehelin is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Merit America, a nonprofit that prepares low-income Americans for upwardly mobile careers at scale and has been named one of the fastest growing and most innovative nonprofits in the country.

Rebecca has spent the past decade working on education and workforce development across the public, private and social sectors. Prior to co-founding Merit America, Rebecca built and led Coursera’s Government & Nonprofit team, reaching tens of thousands of learners. Previously, Rebecca was Education Advisor to Governor Markell (Delaware), Chief Performance Officer at the Delaware Department of Education, and a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Rebecca received her BA in Political Science from Yale University and an MBA & MA in Education from Stanford University. She serves on the board of Rooted School Foundation and on the Maryland Higher Education Commission, to which she was appointed by Governor Moore. She lives in the Maryland suburbs with her husband and son, a pandemic-born 3-year-old who enjoys Paw Patrol, cocoa puffs, and frequent zoom-bombing.

Dr. Garrett Warfield

Dr. Garrett Warfield
Chief Research Officer
Year Up

Dr. Garrett Warfield is Year Up’s Chief Research Officer. He and his team oversee all studies designed to test and improve the impact of Year Up programs and strengthen business operations, often in partnership with leading research experts across the country. Before joining Year Up in 2014, Garrett spent over ten years as a researcher, evaluator, teacher, performance manager, and all-around data nerd for government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and Statistical Methods from Boston University, an M.Sc. in Criminology with Forensic Psychology from Middlesex University in England, and a Ph.D. in Criminology and Justice Policy from Northeastern University.


2024 Executive Certificate in Philanthropic Leadership
May 31 2024

2024 Executive Certificate in Philanthropic Leadership

Georgetown University's Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership is offering an in-person Executive Certificate in Philanthropic Leadership for the Fall of 2024,...

Grantmakers In Health Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy
Jun 4 2024 - Jun 6 2024

Grantmakers In Health Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy

We are excited to announce that the 2024 GIH annual conference, Bold Results Through Courageous Action, will be held on...