The Bridge between Workforce and Education by Dr. Alan Harris
When we first present or meet a group of educators at the top of the list of questions is “What is IMAGO?” The simplest answer is we are a tech-ed company that focuses on Social Emotional Learning. Not exactly a showstopper. But then we tell our story.
Our Founder, Edgar Blunt, was a successful business executive, with a suburban house, healthy and happy family. As he shares, “I checked all the boxes of success except for one. I wasn’t happy and whole in my work.” He went to work to solve that problem for himself and then prospective college students entering the workforce, then workforce development, then Career/Technical Education. Over ten years ago we began building content and developing a digital platform to help people get jobs, keep jobs and be happy, healthy, and whole in jobs.
In education today we define that as Social Emotional Learning and, in the workforce, now we talk about Emotional Intelligence. We are really talking about developing the whole scholar. In many ways it is where education started over 100 years ago when the founders of public education had the ambitious vision of not only educating citizens but also teaching them to be better people and continuously improve our society. What is different at IMAGO is we do not just cite the studies in education and workforce, note the increasing necessity of skill sets, content, and vocabulary to develop social awareness, personal awareness, and global awareness. It is where we started and who we are at our core.
This foundation allows us to meet each teacher, school, or district where you are at. To do that it has to weave into the teaching, not be just “another thing.” Just like master teachers engage their students, meet them where they are at and adapt the learning to challenge them to their fullest potential, we do the same. We work with schools to see the connection between SEL content in Middle and High School and assuring students can get jobs, keep jobs and be happy, healthy, and whole in their jobs.