Philadelphia Works CEO Mark Edwards Featured in Leadership Agenda Interview

Edwards discussed his career, challenges of running the public workforce system, and offered advice to job seekers

Philadelphia (April 10, 2014)–  Earlier this week, Philadelphia Works CEO Mark Edwards was featured in an interview with Jane Von Bergen for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Leadership Agenda section.  Edwards provided his take on the current job landscape and detailed his own diverse career path, working as a barber and security guard before ultimately getting into the public sector.  In several companion pieces on the Philly.com Jobbing Blog, he also offered advice to prospective job seekers and revealed insight into what it means to be the “public face” of a large organization.  Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Q. Philadelphia’s unemployment rate stands at 8.6 percent, down from 11.5 percent the prior year. It’s better, but unemployment remains high. Does that discourage you?

A. I don’t find it discouraging because from time to time, I talk to job-seekers and I talk to employers. I come across real stories of people who have been out of the job market for a period of time and are able to make a connection through us, or as a result of their own efforts. That keeps me encouraged.

Q. What makes you optimistic?

A. The number of conversations I have with employers who are willing to have a conversation with us about developing ways to help them meet their need for workers.

Q. And pessimistic?

A. The sheer demand – the overwhelming demand from people who are seeking jobs. It’s just overwhelming. But we remain undaunted and that’s just not me being on script.

The full Leadership Agenda interview, as well as the companion pieces, can be found via the following links:

Leadership Agenda Interview

Mark Edwards’ job advice: Read, network and stay encouraged

CEO lesson: Learning to be the “face” of his organization