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Corporations helped cause economic inequality. Now, how can they fix it?

Jenny Zhao July 11, 2022

Corporate employers nationwide are embracing innovative talent financing to fill job openings and drive economic mobility. Google is blending balance sheet dollars and philanthropy to invest in America’s workforce, while OneTen and Merit America are partnering to prepare workers without college degrees for tech careers. From Johnson & Johnson to Verizon to Walmart, countless companies are making similar commitments. In this fireside chat, Social Finance’s Jake Edwards will sit down with Google’s Justin Steele and Merit America’s Leila Makarechi to discuss learnings and best practices from such employer-led investments, including a brief virtual conversation with two Google Career Certificate graduates.


Fireside Chat (3 speakers maximum)

Meta Themes

  • Power and Capital

  • Reimagine Systems

  • Deliver Equity and Inclusion


Purpose and Desired Outcome

This fireside chat will focus on employer-led, outcomes-based financing programs—ones specifically designed to meet the needs of people facing barriers to education and employment, such as women, people of color, and individuals without college degrees. The session will also emphasize the potential of corporations to drive positive outcomes, such as increased diversity in skilled positions and increased economic mobility, when they partner across sectors. By opening with virtual contributions from student graduates, this fireside chat will underscore the importance of learner voice in designing and managing any such initiatives.


  • Corporate & SME

  • Service Providers

  • Government


  • NameJake Edwards
  • TitleVice President
  • OrganizationSocial Finance
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameJustin Steele
  • TitleDirector, Americas,
  • OrganizationGoogle
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameLeila Makarechi
  • TitleChief Business Officer
  • OrganizationMerit America
  • StatusConfirmed
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