Well, with a stroke of good fortune from contacts within TechLadyMafia, I was invited to the White House this week (technically the Executive Building) to participate in a “21st Century Jobs Jam” sponsored by the Office of the VP, Office of Science & Technology, and the Department of Labor.
I got to hang out with Mark, the undersecretary for economic affairs, while in the 45-minute line for security. He was great. We lost about 18 pounds collectively in the 90+ degree heat.
The event itself was a blast. Met really interesting people – elected officials, startup CEOs, technologists and designers from Glassdoor, Google, and career-related platforms. Our mandate was to brainstorm ways the gov could make better use of public and private data by creating digital solutions for American jobseekers. We split into six groups and narrowed down ideas. After developing these throughout the day, we each volunteered to help develop one or more projects for the next 90 days, after which we will return to the White House for a celebratory pow-wow with Biden (again) and maybe even POTUS himself. Biden appeared during this event and tried very hard to pay attention to us before dashing to a (more important) Middle East lunch with O and Shimon Peres.
I’m on two projects at the moment, but that might expand depending on the extent to which my company would like to become involved. I have to say, I was impressed by all the officials whom I met within the administration – smart, dedicated guys (though yes, mostly guys – except for Lynn and Erie who managed the event). I had a blast and am super grateful to have been included. Can’t wait to return in September!
Some photos from the day: