Kelli Jordan & Jason Kelley: November 5, 2018

Some of the Most Sought-After Positions in Tech Might Not Require a Traditional Four-Year College Degree;
Learn About Opportunities for Job Seekers, Including Career Programs for Veterans

November is National Career Development Month

Veterans Day is November 11

The Week of November 12th is National Apprenticeship Week



Career Development Expert; Talent Leader, IBM’s New Collar Initiatives


GM, IBM Blockchain Services & military veteran


With the U.S. unemployment rate at 3.7%, many companies are now struggling to find workers to fill open jobs. And as technology continues to transform the types of positions available and the skills needed to perform existing jobs, prospective candidates and current employees might question whether they can fill the jobs that are now available, or wonder if there’s a better job out there for them. Right now, some companies are going above and beyond to offer existing and prospective employees the training they need so they can upskill and reskill the workforce. And despite what you might think, many of these technical jobs might not require a traditional four-year college degree. There are other ways to get your foot in the door.

Some of the open jobs at technology companies are part of a new and growing type of employment trend, termed “New Collar.” These are jobs that require specialized skills and training, but not necessarily a traditional four year college education. Certain roles in high-demand technology fields like cybersecurity and cloud computing prioritize capabilities over credentials, and what they require – instead of a four-year degree – is the right mix of in-demand skill sets that can be learned through 21st century vocational training including Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship programs and innovative public education programs.

As we approach Veterans Day, it’s important to note former members of the U.S. military are often well-suited for New Collar employment. Veterans may not have the traditional education of other job seekers, but they’re cross-trained in multiple skills, have a unique ability to focus, and possess a strong work ethic and leadership qualities. IBM recognizes this, and sponsors a Veteran’s Employment Initiative among other apprenticeships and New Collar initiatives outside of tech hubs like the Bay Area or New York that serve as ongoing programs to provide training, certification and job placement across the country.

On Monday Nov. 5, Kelli Jordan, a career specialist with IBM, and Jason Kelley, a veteran and GM of IBM’s Blockchain Services, will be available for interviews. They will discuss the growth of the New Collar job market, share details about IBM’s ongoing work with veterans and provide details on available apprenticeship programs at the technology company.


More About Kelli Jordan: Kelli Jordan is the Talent Leader for IBM’s New Collar Initiatives. In this role, she is responsible for designing and developing programs that help to build new talent pipelines for key skills, that drive new partnerships across the workforce ecosystem, and that continue to drive IBM’s new collar messaging around skills and capability in lieu of traditional credentials. Since establishing this role in 2017, Kelli has worked to design and launch IBM’s new U.S.-based apprenticeship program and has collaborated to register more than 10 new occupational roles for apprenticeship. She also launched IBM’s Community College Skills Accelerator, providing skills roadmaps and free access to IBM tools, software, and platforms to community colleges across the country. Kelli has been featured on NBC News and TechRepublic, speaking about apprenticeship, skills, and work-based learning opportunities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

More About Jason Kelley: Jason Kelley leads IBM’s Global Blockchain Services, partnering with client organizations and consortia to unleash the exponential business value of blockchain technologies and reinvented business process. His teams provide the thought leadership and consultative capabilities needed to design, develop and rapidly adopt digital ledgers, digital identity, trust and transparency with IBM Blockchain offerings and solutions. With 13 with years of military service as an Army Airborne Ranger, Mr. Kelley values integrity, leadership, and loyalty, and proudly serves on the Board of Directors for the Corporate America Supports You (CASY) organization and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network, both national nonprofits offering employment assistance for current and former military personnel and their spouses. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mr. Kelley also earned an MBA from the Cox School of business at Southern Methodist University, with a concentration in Technology and Entrepreneurship. Mr. Kelley contributes to IBM’s ongoing leadership in patents as the holder of three U.S. Patents with others pending.

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