CEO and Founder of Guild Education
Rachel Romer is the co-founder and CEO of Guild Education, a fast-growing company that helps employers offer higher education to their frontline employees. Guild is on a mission to unlock opportunity for the 88 million Americans who are in need of education and re-skilling in order to compete in the future of work.
Guild partners with Fortune 1000 companies like Walmart, The Walt Disney Company, Chipotle, Lowe’s and Discover Financial, helping their employees go back to school in partnership with leading nonprofit universities. Guild has been listed on the Forbes Cloud 100 list and named a Fast Company Most Innovative Company, Woman-Owned Business of the Year and Employee Initiative of the Year.
Prior to founding Guild, Rachel was the CEO of Student Blueprint and worked for the 2008 Obama campaign before serving in the Obama White House. Rachel holds an M.B.A. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business as well as an M.A. in Education and B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University. Rachel lives in Denver with her husband, David, and their twin girls, Lily Grace and Magnolia.
Why We Chose Her:
Rachel Romer (formerly known as Rachel Romer Carlson) of Guild Education is trying to make America and the world a better place by helping people gain an education through their employer’s tuition benefits — leading to increased employee satisfaction, and improved retention of employers. The goal is to get people who would otherwise be sentenced to a lifetime of lower wages into higher-paying jobs.
Romer says Guild Education, is “an organization committed to social change,” but it is doing it by helping to educate and empower the more than 30 million working adults without a high school diploma, and the 70% of the U.S. population that does not have a college degree rather than simply telling the rest of us how to think. We love that!
Romer clearly cares about making the community a better place by lifting up others, both the employees and the employers. Only five years old, Guild already has a billion-dollar valuation and relationships with an impressive cadre of corporate partners like Walmart, Disney, Discover, Lowe’s, Chipotle, and Taco Bell to provide their employees debt-free tuition and access to everything from high school to master’s degrees.
“Guild’s mission is to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education,” states their website, “With a double-bottom line business model that does well by doing good.”
And Guild is clearly doing a whole lot of good by recognizing the incredible opportunity to help people access and capitalize on the resources they didn’t even know may have been available to them, and to help companies benefit by making people aware of those opportunities.
According to Guild, 3 million employees are eligible for the programs through their employers, and 10 million employees a month contact Guild interested in going back to school. Another Social Capital honoree, Chipotle, has had 7,000 employees enroll in its debt-free college degree program and reports higher retention and promotion rates among the group.
Guild, which gets paid only after students have successfully completed their programs, offers a technology platform and coaching to help working students make the most of the benefit and says tens of thousands start classes every month. Guild recently expanded its mission with Next Chapter, a service to provide up-skilling to employees impacted by the pandemic. Since the pandemic hit, Carlson is using this as a tool to help companies that have to lay people off because of COVID-19 re-skill those workers for new jobs in the “economy of tomorrow” rather than just finding them other temporary work. Helping them gain new skills benefits the workers and companies, as well as society in general.
Helping to make society better by making people stronger and more capable, and doing it all in conjunction with companies through a capitalistic model – that’s pretty much the entire idea of Social Capital. Cheers to you Rachel!
Tenure at Current Position
|Guild Education||June 2015 - Present||CEO and Founder of Student Blueprint|
|Stanford Graduate School of Business|