Tarmac, Asphalt, Road, Runway

Amber Ikpe is a success story for upskilling.

Today, Ikpe works at the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), a nonprofit headquartered in Atlanta. She is the CRM manager, overseeing the databases. This is a far cry from the $7.58-per-hour service industry job she held prior to upskilling.

Thanks to Year Up’s one-year upskilling program, Ikpe got the education and training she needed to change her career path. Here’s how it works.

Year Up is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young adults through higher education and career development. The program puts more than 4,000 students each year through six months of classroom education and then six months in an internship program. They then get assistance in landing a job or pursuing higher education, and they get the backing of a 20,000-strong alumni network.

Ikpe’s internship was at Cox Automotive with additional support from Year Up.

“During the week, we would go to our internships. Then, on Wednesdays, most folks would come into the office of Year Up and talk about how things are going on the job and have our coaching sessions,” Ikpe says. “It was really wraparound support.”

After the six-month internship came graduation. Ikpe says students could decide to remain with the company at which they were working or pursue a post-secondary education. She did both. While working, she earned an associate degree through Gateway Community College. Now, she is working on a four-year degree through Central State University in business management while continuing her career at ITSMF.

Ikpe also works as a coach through Year Up Professional Services, or Yupro, to help others going through the Year Up program. Yupro is a staffing firm that places workers who have gone through the Year Up program.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Workforce Solutions Ecosystem 2021 Update

The Upskilling Movement

Programs like Year Up’s are not just for people like Ikpe. Even for workers in good jobs, upskilling is necessary. Research earlier this year by Gartner found that 58% of the workforce will need new skills to continue doing their jobs successfully.

As a result, firms are coming in with their own take on how do to it. And it’s not just firms in the workforce ecosystem, either. Enterprises are also getting on board with training workers and bridging the skills gap.

Last June, for example, IBM announced a collaboration with 30 global organizations — including governments, community colleges, nonprofits and employment agencies — to help underserved populations improve their skills and employability. It cites a statistic from the World Economic Forum that closing the skills gap could add $11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028.

Workers using training programs are doing so for a variety of reasons. From seeking a new, better career to embarking on a training journey to radically change their lives, people are taking online courses and trying varied programs, boot camps and more. The race to learn new skills for any number of reasons continues.  And the beneficiaries are companies — including staffing firms — and the talent. It’s a win for all.

Read more >


Person, Text, Face, Id Cards, Document, Paper, Crowd
Meet Drew Golin, Chief Executive Officer - Shiftfillers

Shiftfillers' CEO has one of those journeys that inspire us to success.  Drew Golin has exemplified servant leadership throughout his life, starting with his education at Temple University in Philadelphia....

Read more >
Person, Face, Crowd, Female, Blonde, Teen, Kid, Girl, Woman, Text
Meet Rod Smyth, President - Shiftfillers

Innovation runs in the blood of Shiftfillers' President. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Roderick Smyth consistently lives up to his famous compatriot Oscar Wilde's saying that "true progress is...

Read more >
Blonde, Person, Female, Woman, Teen, Girl, Face, Text, Smile, Hair
Meet Karen Febus, Chief Operating Officer - Shiftfillers

Whether it’s running a race or running a successful business, the Shiftfillers' COO knows how to reach goals like no other. Avid runner Karen Febus studied business and finance at...

Read more >

Current opportunities to join us

Warehouse Associate Various shifts from $17.00 per hour + bonus New Albany, IN Sazerac_New_Albany_IN 11b9fea5-a15a-4cf8-8d95-4ef8764efaeb New Albany Indiana United States 707 Pillsbury Lane, New Albany, Indiana, United States, 47150 Join Shiftfillers and become part of the dedicated team that gets products and orders ready for our client’s customers. You will be processing, preparing, picking, packing and shipping customer orders. If you like a fast-paced, physical position t...
Production Associate Perm. with benefits $18 per hour 2:30 P.M. Start. JELD-WEN Ludlow, VT Direct_Hire 879103 Ludlow Vermont United States Ludlow, Vermont, United States Role overview Preparation of frames and jambs used in the pre-hanging process Prepare, machine, and hang wood and fiberglass doors Use pneumatic and hand tools to assemble door units Learn the operation of the production line machinery Palletize, ...
Production Associate Perm. with benefits $18 per hour 2:30 P.M. Start. JELD-WEN. N. Springfield, VT Direct_Hire 879106 Springfield Vermont United States North Springfield, Springfield, Vermont, United States Role overview Preparation of frames and jambs used in the pre-hanging process Prepare, machine, and hang wood and fiberglass doors Use pneumatic and hand tools to assemble door units Learn the operation of the production line machinery Palletize, ...
Production Associate Perm. with benefits $15.45 per hour 4:00 P.M. Start. JELD-WEN Cincinnati (West Chester), OH Direct_Hire 879094 West Chester Township Ohio United States West Chester Township, Ohio, United States Role overview Preparation of frames and jambs used in the pre-hanging process Prepare, machine, and hang wood and fiberglass doors Use pneumatic and hand tools to assemble door units Learn the operation of the production line machinery Palletize, ...
Production Associate (Windows) Perm. with benefits $19.50 - $21 per hour 3:30 P.M. Start JELD-WEN Grinnell, IA. Direct_Hire 878705 Grinnell Iowa United States Grinnell, Iowa, United States Role overview Preparation of frames and jambs used in the pre-hanging process Prepare, machine, and hang wood and fiberglass doors Use pneumatic and hand tools to assemble door units Learn the operation of the production line machinery Palletize, ...
Electronic Technician Full time with benefits $20 - $23 per hour Start 7:00 A.M – 3:30 P.M Schlumberger Sugar Land, TX. Direct_Hire 878122 Sugar Land Texas United States Sugar Land, Texas, United States, 77478 Perform technical duties in one of the functional areas: electronic, mechanical, or systems. Completes tests, measurements, operations, or process controls that are usually routine in nature, and very few nonstandard situations occur. Analyzes dat...
Mechanical Technician Full time with benefits $19 - $21 per hour Start 7 A.M. – 3:30 P.M. Schlumberger Sugar land, TX. Direct_Hire 878110 Sugar Land Texas United States Sugar Land, Texas, United States, 77478 Perform technical duties in one of the functional areas: electronic, mechanical, or systems. Completes tests, measurements, operations, or process controls that are usually routine in nature, and very few nonstandard situations occur. Analyzes dat...
Electrical Assembler Full time with benefits $20 - $23 per hour Start 7:00 A.M – 3:30 P.M Schlumberger Sugar Land, TX. Direct_Hire 878109 Sugar Land Texas United States Sugar Land, Texas, United States, 77478 Perform technical duties to support manufacturing activities to the functional areas: electronic, mechanical, or systems. Analyzes and ensures the product, process meets standards. Troubleshoot and resolve products, processes related to assemblies...
Production Associate (Windows) Perm. with benefits $19.50 - $21 per hour 6:00 A.M. Start JELD-WEN Grinnell, IA. Direct_Hire 876858 Grinnell Iowa United States Grinnell, Iowa, United States Role overview Preparation of frames and jambs used in the pre-hanging process Prepare, machine, and hang wood and fiberglass doors Use pneumatic and hand tools to assemble door units Learn the operation of the production line machinery Palletize, ...
Production Associate Perm. with benefits $18 per hour 4:00 A.M. Start. JELD-WEN. N. Springfield, VT Direct_Hire 876852 Springfield Vermont United States North Springfield, Springfield, Vermont, United States Role overview Preparation of frames and jambs used in the pre-hanging process Prepare, machine, and hang wood and fiberglass doors Use pneumatic and hand tools to assemble door units Learn the operation of the production line machinery Palletize, ...
-->