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Ask Us Anything: Finding Talent with Skills Based Practices

November 30, 2022, 2 p.m. (ET)

Join us for a conversation on how shifting to skills-based practices can improve talent recruitment and retention. In a country where two-thirds of workers do not hold at least a bachelor's degree, employers are looking for ways to find candidates that match their needs through other methods of evaluation. Our guest speakers include Katie Kirkpatrick, president and chief executive officer of the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC); Bridgette Gray, chief customer officer at Opportunity@Work; and Ashley Black, managing director of global equity strategies at Delta Air Lines. The panel will discuss how expanding skills-based practices could help alleviate the tensions of a tight labor market and improve diversity within a firm.


Ashley Black, Managing Director of Global Equity Strategies, Delta Air Lines
Ashley Black leads the airline's equity strategies in the Global Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She and her team build strategies that drive short- and long-term equitable outcomes for Delta people; establish equity as the foundation for all policies, processes, and programs that affect people; close societal equity gaps, largely focusing on access to opportunity, health, and wealth; and leverage the voices and power of the Delta brand to promote truth-based narratives rooted in data and analysis.

She also manages the company's 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the Delta Care and Scholarship Funds, created to help support Delta people who are experiencing financial hardship due to an unavoidable crisis.

Black previously led Delta's Global Employee Communications team, providing communications counsel and strategy to every area of the business. In 2019, she joined the marketing team to develop and lead Delta's internal creative agency, The Window Seat.

Bridgette Gray, Chief Customer Officer, Opportunity@Work
Bridgette Gray currently leads the Customer Success & Delivery team as Opportunity@Work scales the hiring of workers who are skilled through alternative routes (STARs) nationwide. She has spent the last 20+ years helping diverse talent access and benefit from training and employment opportunities, helping businesses acquire this talent, and influencing DEI as central to their bottom line.

Gray joins Opportunity@Work after 7½ years at Per Scholas, where she was their first chief impact officer, responsible for managing all training operations and organizational impact for Per Scholas' 17 campuses. Under her leadership, Per Scholas expanded its gold-standard, evidenced-based model from five to 17 campuses, from 800 to 3,000 learners trained with a strategic plan to expand to 25 campuses and 10,000 learners trained by 2025; and built a national team to support the growing campuses. Prior to Per Scholas, Gray held several senior and executive leadership roles at Year Up, the Points of Light Foundation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Gray can often be found adding her thought partnership and leadership to collective impact work with the Markle Foundation's Rework America Alliance, JFF's Thrive @Work Innovation Council, Racial Equity Learning Community @PolicyLink, America Forward WFD & Economic Justice Task Force, as a LEAP Ambassador, and as a Founding Member of Chief DC. She served on the Workforce Board of Montgomery County, Maryland from 2014 until 2019.

Katie Kirkpatrick, President and Chief Executive Officer, Metro Atlanta Chamber
Katie Kirkpatrick is the president and chief executive officer of the 162-year-old Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). Kirkpatrick is known for her public policy prowess, courageous leadership, and more than a decade of driven impact through her work at MAC.

Previously MAC's chief policy officer, Kirkpatrick served as the link between the metro Atlanta business community and local and national government. Kirkpatrick joined the Chamber in 2007 as vice president of environmental affairs, previously serving in numerous roles directly related to environmental policy and water-related issues. Kirkpatrick later served as the chamber's senior vice president for business higher education, leading the execution of key initiatives strengthening the region's higher education ecosystem and workforce development.

Before joining MAC, she served as director of environmental engineering for Gold Kist Inc. with responsibilities in regulatory compliance, designing treatment systems, strategic planning, and more.