Sharon Jenkins, Director, Employer Broker Relations & Corporate Health, John Muir Health
John Muir Health’s mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve with quality and compassion. This community includes employers and their families. In my role I work directly with Human Resource and Benefit staff so I hear and learn so much about organizational changes facing their businesses such as; expansion, relocation, talent, health care coverage, commute issues, affordable housing and dependent care. I also noticed a disconnect between how businesses can be involved and support local education. For the larger employers I think there is a better way for us to pool resources, establish partnerships and together make a difference between business and education.
Through Earn & Learn, John Muir Health works with Ygnacio Valley High School, Mount Diablo High School and other schools hosting internships, speaking in classrooms and offering job shadowing experiences. We want to be recognized as an educational business partner through our involvement with the students and encourage other local businesses to do the same.
As incoming Chair of the Concord Chamber of Commerce and Chair Elect for the East Bay Leadership Council it is my goal is to work with the Earn & Learn Program to connect businesses and school districts resulting in an integrative platform and funding for job placement. I see a synergy of needs between businesses and education in the Bay Area, which we can and need to meet.
Earn & Learn stands out among work based learning initiatives because it is effective and convenient. It’s easy to participate and meets everyone’s needs. It is a one-stop shop where schools can connect with business and business can connect with schools. I don’t know anyone in human resources that wants to field multiple requests, take five more phone calls and attend ten more meetings in relation to workforce development.
I’m excited to see Earn & Learn growing in Alameda County, and that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff recently hosted Earn & Learn Employer Recognition Awards. Serving the region makes the program stronger, and I’m seeing that people want to be a part of it.
We want to create a campaign for employers so they don’t just say ‘We did that’ or ‘We signed up’ but ‘We are a part of it and look at our results’ and that’s what Earn & Learn is creating.”