Why Zoë Baird Thinks the Zappos Strategy Can Save American Jobs

Baird's Markle Foundation is announcing public-private partnerships with the state of Colorado and the city of Phoenix.

worker tightens a bolt on a completed lawnmower at the Dixie Chopper manufacturing facility in Coatesville, Indiana, U.S., on Friday, June 12, 2015. The U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release durable goods figures on June 23.

Photographer: LUKE SHARRETT/Bloomberg

Zoë Baird knows from frustration, and she's been feeling frustrated. Sitting in an office high up in Rockefeller Plaza, floors above a gilded mural depicting the history of transportation—which ends, of course, in flight—she worries that Americans today have been grounded. Jobs they're seeking don't match with the skills they have, or the degrees they need. A recent study, for instance, showed that 65 percent of job postings for executive assistants call for a bachelor's degree, when only 19 percent of those in these roles have a B.A. “Is that a change in the skills in the job?” she wondered. “Or is that due simply to an inflation—because people coming out of college don't have other options?”

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