Wages, benefits, and skills: What corporate America can do for employees - AEI

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Event Summary

On Friday morning, AEI’s Robert Doar led a panel discussion on the future of work and its benefits for the American worker. The panelists demonstrated how corporate employers are helping especially their entry-level employees acquire the needed skills and credentials to ensure stability and upward mobility in the corporate world. They also described the various benefits offered to improve employees’ overall quality of life.

Kathleen McLaughlin, a senior vice president of Walmart, spoke about the retail sector’s share of entry-level workers who advance in their careers through employer-sponsored education and training programs. Most importantly, she noted that about 325,000 employees have graduated with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from the Walmart Academy. Chris Winton of FedEx discussed his company’s youth coding academy in Water Valley, Mississippi, where disadvantaged high school students can learn coding and soft skills and are frequently offered jobs at FedEx. Amanda Eversole of JPMorgan Chase shared that her company has dedicated $11 million to skills training for their workforce. All agreed that there are work opportunities for those without four-year degrees, and connecting people with those opportunities benefits employers and employees alike.

–Vivian Ikoro

Event Description

American corporations provide valuable goods and services to the public. But such corporations also hold immense potential to improve the lives of their own employees. And in the wake of recent corporate tax cuts, the potential for corporations to improve their employees’ lives — through competitive wages, good benefits, skills training, and more — is even greater.

What do employees of large companies gain from their employment? In what areas can employers improve? And what does the future hold for the relationship between the American employee and the large employer?

Join AEI for presentations from representatives of several leading American corporations, an overview of the landscape of these issues from AEI’s Michael R. Strain, and a panel discussion led by AEI’s Robert Doar.

Join the conversation on social media with @AEI on Twitter and Facebook.



8:45 AM
Registration and breakfast

9:00 AM
Robert Doar, AEI

Opening remarks:
Amanda Eversole, JPMorgan Chase
Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart
Michael R. Strain, AEI
Chris Winton, FedEx

9:45 AM

Amanda Eversole, JPMorgan Chase
Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart
Michael R. Strain, AEI
Chris Winton, FedEx

Robert Doar, AEI

10:45 AM

11:00 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Tal Fortgang at [email protected] 202.862.5837.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries or to register a camera crew, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829

Event Speaker Biographies

Robert Doar is the Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at AEI, where he studies and evaluates how free enterprise and improved federal policies and programs can reduce poverty and provide opportunities for vulnerable Americans. Before joining AEI, he worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg as commissioner of New York City’s Human Resources Administration, where he administered 12 public assistance programs, including welfare, food assistance, public health insurance, and help for people living with HIV/AIDS. Before joining the Bloomberg administration, Mr. Doar was New York state commissioner of social services, helping make New York a model for the implementation of welfare reform.

Amanda Eversole is the head of public affairs for JPMorgan Chase, where she oversees communications, civic engagement, and strategy for the corporate responsibility team. Before joining the firm in September 2016, she served for 13 years at the US Chamber of Commerce, where she was most recently president of the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation. She also served as senior vice president of the Center for Capital Market Competitiveness, a program dedicated to advancing America’s global leadership in capital formation, which she helped launch in 2006. Ms. Eversole previously served as chief of staff, oversaw marketing and communications for the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and managed communications for association and Chamber of Commerce members. Before joining the Chamber in 2003, she worked for RTC Relationship Marketing in business development.

Kathleen McLaughlin is senior vice president and chief sustainability officer at Walmart and president of the Walmart Foundation. She serves on the board of the Council on Foundations and is a member of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy’s Strategic Investor Initiative advisory board. Before joining Walmart in 2013, she spent over 20 years with the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Michael R. Strain is the John G. Searle Scholar and director of economic policy studies at AEI. His research interests include labor economics, public finance, and social policy. Dr. Strain’s research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and in the policy journals Tax Notes and National Affairs. He has also edited two books on economics and economic policy. He writes frequently for popular audiences. His essays and op-eds have been published by The New York Times, National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, and a variety of other outlets, and he is a regular contributor for Bloomberg View. Before joining AEI, Dr. Strain worked in the Center for Economic Studies at the US Census Bureau and in the macroeconomics research group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is a graduate of Marquette University and holds an M.A. from New York University and a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.

Chris Winton is the vice president of human resources for FedEx. His responsibilities include compensation, human resource analysis, organizational effectiveness, recruiting, performance management, and workforce strategy and planning. He is also the enterprise business lead for Workday at FedEx. During his 18 years with FedEx, he has held multiple leadership positions, including director of the FedEx IT Command Center. Mr. Winton now serves on the board of directors for INROADS, The Memphis Challenge, and the local Workforce Investment Network. In 2014, he was recognized by the Memphis Business Journal as a “Top 40 Under 40” leader.

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