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Harvard Business School’s Managing the Future of Work Podcast: Trainers Make the Grade When Students Get Good Jobs

Corporate Impact Solutions, Workforce & Economic Mobility, Education, Career Impact Bonds

Key Takeaway

“The ISA world is really the Wild West because there’s no regulation right now. I think that there’s a great opportunity in Washington to craft ISA legislation that focuses on the worker. There are lots of features in our Career Impact Bonds/Student Bill of Rights that we hope that Congress will look into, like fleshing out important learner safeguards, payment caps, repayment terms, downside protection, and the like.” —Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder, Social Finance

As the skills gap grows, students take on debt toward traditional four-year degrees that often don’t leave them job-ready. Short-term certificate programs can deliver more relevant skills but often cost upwards of $10,000 and require months of full-time study. In this environment, impact investing provides a potential vehicle for economic opportunity—tapping private funds to address social challenges in workforce development. To what extent does social financing realign incentives and reallocate risk in the workforce development system? Who are the beneficiaries? How will Covid-19 and its aftermath affect that equation?

In this Managing the Future of Work podcast by Harvard Business School, host Joe Fuller interviews Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance, on how outcomes-financing tools like the Career Impact Bond, deployed through impact investing mechanisms, can help bridge the skills gap and expand economic mobility.

Listen to the Episode

The status quo is that whether you're a college or training program, you get paid by the number of people in your seats. Whether or not the degree or the program works for the worker, they still collect their tuition. In a Career Impact Bond, the training providers would only be made whole if their learners are successful in finding and keeping good jobs after graduating.

Tracy Palandjian

CEO and Co-Founder, Social Finance

Tracy Palandjian Headshot Square

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