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tv   Rahm Emanuel Amazon Senior VP at Wall Street Journal CEO Council Meeting  CSPAN  December 15, 2019 10:23pm-10:50pm EST

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may not like it, but i want to , we have 300,000 employees. >> last year the republican governor joined the heritage foundation in washington dc for discussion on his state's budget and fiscal landscape. watch live monday at 11:00 came eastern on c-span2, online at, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. to.he article is agreed >> with the house judiciary committee approving two articles of impeachment against president trump, abuse of power and instruction of congress, the house rules committee will meet to determine the guidelines on how the debate will unfold on
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the house floor. watch live coverage of house rules, tuesday at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. watch online or listen live with the free c-span radio app. next, former chicago mayor rahm emanuel and amazon senior vice president talk about workforce development issues. from the annual wall street journal ceo council meeting, this is 30 minutes. rahm emanuel was the mayor of chicago between 2011 and 2019, also former white house chief of staff. they will be interviewed by my colleague who see at her -- editor live journalism as the wall street journal. please welcome them. [applause] to do a couple of case studies and we have a
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short amount of time. quickly, let's bring everybody up to speed. first, most people here, the headlines about the 700 mu dollars amazon plans to spend in the next few years. give us a quick overview on how that works. $700 million, 100 thousand workers over the next six years. it's an aggregation of different upscaling programs. our front-line workers, we give them a program we call career choice. we prepay 95% of tuition and books up to $3000 a year so they can learn skills in fields like medical technology, bookkeeping, other tech fields. them for other jobs that will take them outside of amazon.
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in addition to programs like that for front-line employees, we have programs like our machine learning university where were taking our software developers and recognizing that machine learning is such a compelling and important skill today, that we need to help them get those skills when they -- that they didn't get when they went to university. for we have other programs front-line workers were reteaching technical skills to go from being a warehouse worker to maybe and i.t. technician. we have us -- a whole series to hit that 100,000 number. >> you reimagine how community colleges would function. chicago has the most diversified economy in the united states. the second largest community college system in america. what we did was with seven
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campuses, each campus had a industry focus. richard j daley, advanced digital manufacturing, etc. we industry that would hire, brought the men and they would do the curriculum to oversee all of health care from home health care to nurses, physical therapy, everything. and then basically that school became an expert in that area of specialty in the industry and the focus. in the cityhing is, of chicago we went from 300 to 5000 kids who graduate from high school with the minimum, -- you get0% of kids a b average in the city of chicago in high school, tuition, books, and transportation are free at the community college, and is open to dreamers. one of the reasons we want to do -- certainty of your
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workforce, chicago is the number one city for corporate relocations in america. the addition to it is a social political issue. i want to make sure you can recruit from the university of michigan, university of chicago, but i want to get the kids a haroldwho go to washington, who go to malcolm x, that they see an economy where they have a future. if you do that, you're going to have a political and economic stable system. employers cannot prosper just on our four-year institutions. one of the things that is
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almost transformative, you had companies coming in and teaching the classes. not easy, a lot of the teachers were not happy with it, but you had a board of advisors made up of corporations. there was 120 corporations that served on the disparate -- on the different institutions, fromg if you want to hire -- today they hire 20-30 people annually out of right commute college because they know the curriculum meets the basics. you're not going to do soup to nuts. what a company doesn't want to do anymore is spend money on the basics.
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the institution has to do the fundamentals. >> let's talk about how both of you are predicting the future a little bit. the front page of this morning's journal has a great story about manufacturing jobs require degrees now. changing, all is kinds of sectors in the economy are changing. how are you choosing the skills that you want to focus on for the future? how are you predicting and modeling at amazon? >> the most consistent thing we see changing is the need for some level of technical skills in any jobs. our fulfillment center workers are working with new processes. they need some aspect of technical skills. when we look historically over the past 20 years, we identified that 20 years ago we had about nine jobs in the company that
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had technical skill titles. thewe have over 37, just in past 20 years. over the past five years, rose like data scientist and different security engineers, networking engineers, those roles have grown by 500% in the company. so it's just explosive from the technical side. we need to find ways to give those technical skills to the breath of employees that we have in ways that will allow them to involve as the environment evolves. you are paying people to learn how to get jobs beyond amazon, but some of those people are grocery store cashiers and warehouse workers for whom automation is reality. how does that play into your thinking? >> automation is in no way replacing jobs. what we do need is for people to be able to interact with that automation.
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they do need some level of technical skills, which we provide those as on-the-job training for them. we have systems change, some interesting programs using machine learning to help them learn very quickly on the job. we do gaming technology so we can have them learn from games. we just make it fun so then can continue to learn. two things i would say, our motto at commune to college is you're not going to get a job, you're getting a career. you may go into health care and the foundation for nursing but it would take an advanced degree in nursing. so it was not just about nursing, it's about health care as a space. were all talking about the associate's degree. that's about 40%.
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working and skilling up while they are working. all 85,000 are working on their two-year degree, etc. we have an example on the southeast side of the city of chicago, we built a whole new campus for transportation, distribution, logistics. the whole foods distribution center for the entire midwest left indiana and move their three blocksrally away from alex harvey community college. illinois, much better tax rates. now ingest hussle right the economy, not only the skill set but the certainty around that skill set. the commute to college system handled the 40% going for the
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associate's degree but also for the companies, the ability to have workers come in and out of the system and take just a class or get what we call stackable certificates in the economy. some are 16 weeks and then you get a certificate, you don't ,ave to get the two-year degree we call them stackable degrees or stackable certificates that allow people to work, skill up, and then advance economically and get the advance economics they need for a career, not just a job. minds of ag on the lot of people here is, they have money to spend on training and are very worried is not going to have the results that they wanted. we talked the other day about how you guys have politics some stuff. what's an example where your operating assumption going into didn't turn out to be totally
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correct, and how did you course correct? >> it's a lot of money for anyone to advance. it's important to make sure we get the results. in, we look for four key things were starting these programs. the first is we have to meet employees where they are. we have to find ways to remove as much friction as possible for employees to be able to access the education. we actually built the fulfillment centers in the classrooms. training, virtual access is another great way to do it. we second thing we do is build these programs by amazonian's for amazonian's. we make sure we are connecting with the population we are
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actually serving. they're developing something that will make sense for the people they work with. the third thing is pilots and experiments. we start small. only once we prove that it's working well do we double down and take it big. ? we started egg career choice program where we give -- week -- the thing we missed was we looked broadly across the country to see what was in demand jobs and we offered to prepay the training for those jobs. but guess what, if you getting trained to be an aircraft mechanic but you work in an area where there's no aircraft mechanic jobs and the only way to get them is to relocate, it is probably impractical for you. what we had to do was curate our , we had to make
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sure there were in demand jobs in the communities where they live. once we saw that we realized we could double down and go really big. we talked on the phone the other day and i ask you how companies like the ones here could work with their local cities and region to develop programs like this. >> first of all, i will say this. , i had never been to a community college. i made it my mission, i could not get companies to break off the relationship with the
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community college. community colleges, and i did littleh, almost 60%, or over, have to use the g.i. bill to go to community colleges. find at thewill universities, i mean at the state level, chicago is unique because it ran its own system, 85,000 kids. desirous of this relationship. you will see that they can reprogram, and i'm not saying take it over, but the fundamentals for making sure the education and curriculum matches what your industry, not your company specifically, want. that's from a two-year associate's degree.
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they can come in and get trained specifically for what you're about to have, more on the eight week or 16 week program. we've just done it in the city of chicago across the breath of the economy. you can go and do all the recruit would you want at the big ten universities, all those areas. you get a child of an immigrant family that came to america and i will get you a very hard-working, dedicated workforce, but you need that relationship and they are desirous, they don't know how to communicate to you, if you knock on the door you will be amazed how quickly it will open. >> we will ask a couple of quick questions.
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insightsu share some you have unearthed on your workforce that other companies ?ay not know now.'s higher than 600 they develop the products for our employees. probably the biggest learning we've had to that process, it's important to look at what you do with your employees, any other business problem you work with. we were looking at what we need to do for our employees, we have to have the right metrics. we use scientist to help us figure things out as to what's going to matter most for employees. things, for learn example what is motivating for an amazonian. what makes them come to work and want to stay at work? an thing that causes employee to stay or leave is there manager. in our company, certainly that
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has had an influence, but the number one thing that causes employees to stay or leave is whether they have access to do meaningful work. what is the content of their job and are they able to actually see the impact their having. need don't satisfy that much faster -- they will leave much faster than if they're working with a manager and don't get along. >> i have some targeted questions for you. >> i have a broad-based answer for you. [laughter] that's how this works. you worked with elizabeth warren at your time in the white house. tell us what you saw there that would or would not make her a good president. principal rule for chief
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executive, mayor, governor, our president, you've got to be idealistic enough to know why you are doing what you're doing, and ruthless enough to get it done. if you make it to the oval, you have to have that skill set. elizabeth warren has a , shesophy and approach knows where to trim her sales and what to hold and when to hold. same question, but for -- for biden. >> and then i get two more minutes on the community college district of chicago. when i was senior adviser president clinton, i used to say if we knew in the first year the first term what we knew by the second year, second term, we would all be geniuses.
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there is a learning curve. the closer you are to understanding the way the oval office operates, the better. i think president biden would have exactly what i talk about, he has a vision and the capacity to make that work. you can have all the ideas you want but if you don't know how to move the country and moves a legislative body, which are two different degrees, then you can't be an effective chief executive. public executive is different than a private ceo. i know the vice president better than i know senator warren. one of the key things for being president is not being scared for people to look you in the face and say no. i'm fortunate to have worked with two presidents and you
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could see and know, i'm not intimidated in saying what i think to a president. vice president joe biden as a president, and i've seen it as vice president, is not scared to have people who disagree with him and tell him to his face. because otherwise you're just going to have a bunch of yes people. and if you look at today, i think you know what the consequences of that are. i was just getting warmed up on that latter part. i'm not really comfortable being cut off here now. that was therapy, i was feeling pretty good. [laughter] i'm chancellor for health affairs at the ohio state university. do you see the pipeline program is really an asset for hr or a point of entry for amazon into higher education, which has been doing things quite consistently for eight long time? >> the pipeline programming, you
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mean the one i was just describing? number one, it's something that allows us to attract and retain great employees. and in ways that can follow their own passions. example, a woman went into aerospace engineering. she started in one of our dallas fulfillment centers. she worked there for three years, then decided she wanted to take on something different. she then went to the local community college and was able to get a certification. as she completed her certification, she had a job right there in dallas. it is something that allows us to launch and be a pipeline for other industries and other companies. >> other questions? i see one over here.
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>> these civility and respect have disappeared from our culture for a few years. what do you think we can do to restore the respect for each other and each other's point of view and become more kind and civil to each other, but yet have our point of view? >> you can go to hell. [laughter] >> how's that for a beginning? i am the middle child of three and i used to say you could youe a book war or peace, can only have one or the other. i'm going to take your question in a different direction. i actually think you have two things simultaneously, not one. if you want to point out all the
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divisions and divisiveness, that's not hard to do. there is plenty of material there. i think if you go back and look at data, there's actually a lot of consensus and agreement on guns, on trade, on international institutions, etc.. there isto think somebody that likes the hunger game type politics of pitting one group against another. others want a greater sense of unity. it is incumbent on the president. i think it is trained and socialized both at higher institutions, those that corporate america who have a role in prospering diversity, and third is also in the public sector, all of us who have a leadership role, to actually
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nurture that and bring it forward. one of the things i think our party does wrong, we celebrate diversity, appropriately. but for diversity to actually be effective, you have to have an agreement on what the common foundations for that diversity to prosper and be an asset, not a liability. don't think we as a country, and i would say our party, speaking up about the common foundation and the things we agree upon. if we do that i think we will then have not just lip service to the university but nurture it as a strength rather than a liability. [applause] analyst at the brookings institution discuss the state of affairs in afghanistan, the
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prospect of renewed efforts at negotiations, and options for u.s. policymakers. watch live monday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3, online at, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. she spends washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, brian bennett of time magazine will review the full house for vote on impeachment and the upcoming funding deadlock. also joining us, alan dershowitz who will talk about opposition efforts to impeach president trump. be sure to watch live at 7:00 eastern monday morning. join the discussion. on theda


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