When venture capitalist Art Bilger sold his successful media company, he took the time to step back and examine his career path.
Inspired by the book "Man's Search For Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, Bilger started looking at the relationship between employment and life's purpose.
Podcast: The Unfiltered Interview with Art Bilger
He realized the importance of finding that purpose and dignity through one's career and compared that with the staggering unemployment crisis in the U.S. Without work, thousands of people might not only feel the effect economically but psychologically as well.
"I started thinking about how to use media to educate the people of this country on these issues, but also on the opportunities," Bilger said.
He went on to create WorkingNation, a nonprofit aimed at bringing attention to the problem and the future of work. To Bilger, unemployment is one of the biggest issues our nation is facing.
In the latest episode of "LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez," Bilger explains the major causes of unemployment in our country. He notes key components, such as globalization, advancing technology, life expectancy and broken education. The COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified an already critical problem.
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Bilger is using WorkingNation to expose the hard truths about the jobs crisis and also create opportunities. He explains that certain fields — such as cybersecurity, data and analytics, and healthcare — are rapidly growing industries. Through storytelling, town halls and training programs, he hopes to offer solutions to put people back to work.
"It's not just about the bottom 20%, but it's about the heart of America," Bilger said.
Having begun working on Wall Street as a runner at just 16 years old, Bilger made his fortune investing in media and technology companies. While he's experienced immense success throughout his life, he says WorkingNation may be his greatest legacy.
"The American dream is being redefined right now," Bilger said. "I do believe we can get back on track through the education of where the opportunities will be."
New episodes of "LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez" premiere Mondays at 9 p.m. on Spectrum News 1.