Trade Unions Driving High School Transformation

Can Chicago’s century-old trade labor unions join education futurists to create a school model to counter America’s growing skills gap? As advanced technologies and automation are disrupting the workforce, shouldn’t schools, apprenticeships, and career and technical education (CTE) programs be designed to keep pace? How can we ensure students graduate high school prepared to succeed in a talent-based economy? It requires new thinking, new alliances, and blurred lines between in-school education and hands-on work experience leading to in-demand, high-paying, upwardly-mobile jobs for low-income and working class students. The moderator, Jim Perry, is Managing Director at Madison Dearborn Partners and brings an investor perspective along with Jim Sweeney, one of labor’s most influential leaders, serving as head of the International Union Of Operating Engineers, Local 150. Myles Mendoza is President of Empower Illinois, an education advocate and policy innovator. And John Bailey is a Fellow at American Enterprise Institute studying the social and economic impact of technology, plus philanthropic advisor to Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Walton Family Foundation.

Moderator: Jim Perry, Managing Director, Madison Dearborn Partners

Panelists/Participants: Myles Mendoza, President, Empower Illinois; John Bailey, Fellow, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative & Visiting fellow at AEI; Jim Sweeney, President-Business Manager, IUOE Local 150