UpSkill America - Success Stories: Graduates Share Their Stories

Upskilling program graduates from across the country and industries will share their personal experiences, how their program helped them, and what advice they would have for other participants and employers who are considering such programs.

The UpSkill America Show is presented by Skill FM and Upskill America.

UpSkill America is an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and allow our economy and communities to thrive. The movement promotes training and advancement practices to help workers progress in their careers and move into better-paying jobs. Led by a leadership team of employer organizations, UpSkill America’s mission is to recognize employers that invest in their frontline workers; promote the adoption of policies and practices used by employers to educate, train and develop frontline workers; and highlight effective local and regional workforce development partnerships and how they educate, train and develop individuals for success in the workplace.

UpSkill America is an initiative of the Economic Opportunities Program at The Aspen Institute, a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Aspen Institute has earned a reputation for gathering diverse, nonpartisan thought leaders, creatives, scholars and members of the public to address some of the world's most complex problems.

About This Episode


Upskilling program graduates from across the country and industries will share their personal experiences, how their program helped them, and what advice they would have for other participants and employers who are considering such programs.

Yenis Blanco, Training Manager, McDonald’s, where she oversees training programs at 15 restaurants in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia.

Lisa Gauthier, City Council Member, East Palo Alto, California. Lisa is also the Government Affairs Manager at Study.com, an online education company in Mountain View, where she supports the company’s community impact programs – including Working Scholars, a community-funded free college initiative.


Kimberly Vaughn, IT Project Manager, IT Governance, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where she has led a variety of initiatives focused on driving innovation and ensuring application compliance.


Moderated by Amanda Newman, Senior Project Manager, The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program where she is focused on advancing equitable outcomes through workforce development and related strategies.