The pandemic has disrupted the entire education and workforce system. The impact of COVID-19 on childcare, K-12 education, higher education, and workforce training has forced us all to rethink every aspect of the talent pipeline. Talent Forward 2020 will explore how the business community has strengthened our outlook on the future, and how its leadership will foster innovations in the new economy. There is no going back. We are moving Talent Forward. 

Early Childhood Education and Care

Childcare is a two-generation workforce issue, essential to support the workforce of today and vital to develop our workforce of tomorrow. Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, families are experiencing unprecedented challenges and finding childcare is nearly impossible. In this session, we’ll explore the impact COVID-19 has had on working parents, employers trying to create return to work plans, and childcare providers on the frontlines trying to educate and care for our youngest learners. 

K-12 Education

Historic inequities that already existed in our K-12 education system has now been further exposed due to the pandemic — proving that we are ill-equipped to educate students in a modern environment. While some students struggle in a hybrid or virtual learning environment due to lack of broadband access, instructional support, and more, others thrive as their schools innovate and find new ways to effectively teach. This session will explore the future of K-12 education, including bringing the “classroom” into the 21st century, innovative learning tools, and the need for quality data to inform decision-making. 

Workforce Development

The impact of COVID-19 has forced communities and employers across the country to re-imagine the way we develop, hire, upskill, and reskill our workforce. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we expand partnerships and build a data and technology infrastructure that aligns education, workforce, and credentialing information with the needs of the talent marketplace, and keeps  pace with an evolving economy. This session will focus on ways to double-down on skill and competency-based learning and hiring, and the data and technology needed to ensure inclusive workforce practices are a reality for all learners and workers.  


Friday, October 30
1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET


You will receive a link to view the event after you register.

Program Agenda:

Opening Keynote

Suzanne Clark, President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Piecing Together Solutions: Employers, Working Parents, and the Childcare Equation

Debbie McKinley, Associate Vice President, Home Depot U.S. Stores and International Operations

Nicole D'Uva, Vice President of Employee Health & LifeWork Strategies, Adventist Health Care

Moderated by Erica Pandey, Business Reporter, Axios

Is Now the Time to Rethink Education?

Marc Sternberg, K-12 Education Program Director, Walton Family Foundation

Todd Rose, Author, Co-Founder and President, Populace


A High Stakes Year - For Students

Secretary Margaret Spellings, President and CEO, Texas 2036

Secretary Arne Duncan, Managing Director, Emerson Collective

Moderated by Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The Perfect Match: Connecting In-Demand Skills with Employer Needs

Sean Murphy, Senior Manager, Opportunity, Walmart.org

Alex Kaplan, Global Leader, Blockchain, and AI for Industry Credentials, IBM

Peter Beard, Senior Vice President, Regional Workforce Development, Greater Houston Partnership

Moderated by Chike Aguh, Head of Economic Mobility Micro-Pathways, Education Design Lab 


Building a Future-Proof Workforce with Digital Skills

Allyson Knox, Senior Director of Education Policy, Microsoft

Employer-Sponsored Education Benefits: A Missed Opportunity and the Key to Rebuilding a Skilled Workforce

Terry McDonough, President, Alternative Learning, Strategic Education, Inc.

John Katzman, Founder and CEO, Noodle

Moderated by Wan-Lae Cheng, Partner, McKinsey & Company

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Creating Solutions for the Opportunity Gap

Marty Rodgers, Market Unit Lead – US South, Accenture

Dr. Adena Williams Loston, President, St. Philip’s College


For information on programming and sponsorship opportunities, email Libby Goodell at Lgoodell@uschamber.com.