“I’m a partner in a start-up company called Cognotion,” Jim Jimmerson explains about the company he started supporting 18 months ago. “An initiative that tackles one of America’s biggest problems…keeping our middle-class and lower middle-class citizens trained and employed in productive and meaningful jobs.”
Jimmerson knows about meaningful jobs. After working for others at the start of his career, in 1983 he founded the full-service Jimmerson Law Firm, PC and quickly developed a reputation for representing some of the more complex and high-profile cases in the state.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to practice law for the last 42 years in Nevada – in both state and federal courts,” he says today. “I appreciate the expression of confidence our clients have placed in our firm, no doubt fueled by our integrity and commitment to excellence.”
It makes sense, then, that the Jimmerson Law Firm reflects the values Jimmerson himself upholds. Both he and the other members of his firm are active in the community, devoting hundreds of hours a year to worthy causes and recognized for their extensive pro-bono work – despite boasting a client roster that includes some of the largest corporations not only in the state but the country, as well as celebrities and high-profile individuals such as Steve Wynn, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, and Wayne Newton.
Giving back keeps success in perspective for Jimmerson. It serves as a reminder to be grateful and that doing one’s best always matters, especially to those whose lives are improved by one’s efforts. This is a message he clarifies when talking about Carol, his wife of 22 years, and their four children. “True” he says, “you can’t get anywhere without hard work. But it’s equally as important to spend real time with your spouse and family. A secure homelife allows you to go out into the world and take on the dragons each day.”
At the same time, Jimmerson is humbled by the belief that good fortune is the mother of good deeds; and paying it forward is an obligation he strives to live by – most recently through an endeavor to give back to a community that has rewarded his hard work and tenacity with its patronage.
Growing up in Nevada, Jimmerson witnessed the evolution of Las Vegas from a gambling town in the 50s to a now thriving multi-faceted metropolis; and from a then population of nearly 25,000 to over 2 million people today.
“I observed over time,” he says, “Nevadans struggling to ‘keep up’ with the growing and increasingly fast paced and complex world of technology and social media.” The demand to be tech savvy in the workplace has made it impossible for many to qualify for jobs and for others to sustain meaningful and worthwhile employment.
He explains how statistics show that many of today’s workers will change careers five or six times, often requiring lengthy and expensive training prohibitive to those with financial responsibilities and who have difficulty learning in traditional settings.
All of which brings us back to Cognotion.
Cognotion is an educational technology designed to easily and cost effectively train adults for new careers. The programming focuses on mid-level skill jobs that do not require a college degree.
“About six months ago, Carol and I became a lot more involved in Cognotion, deepening our commitment,” Jimmerson explains. “I did this because I saw the work Cognotion was doing and its impact, but also because I wanted them to bring this type of training to Las Vegas.” The Jimmersons made this deeper involvement investment conditional on the company establishing a prominent presence in Las Vegas and using the resources the city has to offer, both in terms of intellectual property and human capital. Jimmerson just wanted “to give back to the city that I love.” He is incredibly proud of the fact that even though the 5-year-old company is doing work all over the country, Las Vegas is now home to some of the most cutting-edge aspects of that work.
“I’m a trial lawyer by profession,” Jimmerson says, “which means I know how to tell a story to a jury and how to educate the listener about complex concepts – like gambling regulations in Macau or how a skyscraper is built.
“The common denominator in all of my cases is communication,” he continues. “I’m always thinking about new and better ways to convince the listener of my position - building the sex appeal of the case, the righteousness, the credibility - whatever is necessary to get my points across effectively.”
Playing off the power of persuasive storytelling and the credible delivery of information, Cognotion teaches people new career skills through compelling, TV show-like narratives, capitalizing on mesmerizing drama and Hollywood-style production values and through subject specific scripts written to educate the viewer.
“The most important thing,” says Jimmerson, “It works! People can learn a new career from their tablet or smartphone and pass state licensing exams. And it’s effective because in the end it improves a person’s job status and thus their self-esteem and economic security.”
For now, Cognotion’s training is focused on healthcare careers, like Certified Nurse Aides. “We chose this because there is a chronic shortage of workers in this area and employers are willing to pay for the cost of our software to train their workers,” he says.
It’s great for the single mom making minimum wage because she gets an education that’s engaging and fun, quick and flexible, and paid for by the employer.
“And it’s great for the employer because people trained in this method remember how to do the job well,” he continues. “The dramatizations help people to bring more empathy to the job while gaining valuable life skills and mentoring examples.”
Jimmerson is convinced that Cognotion is going to disrupt the way healthcare is traditionally taught. The company already has partnerships with some of the world’s largest publishers and Jimmerson believes they have only scratched the surface of the impact that this approach provides.
“I knew that if we gave people something consistent with what they already enjoy getting from Netflix or HBO for their entertainment – except that Cognotion will help them get a better job – we would have a monster hit on our hands…an educational win!”
Jim Jimmerson believes that the opportunity to be employed in a worthwhile job and earning a superior wage gives new meaning to life. It transforms possibility into reality and provides a real opportunity to be part of the American Dream.
Anyone interested can visit Cognotion’s website at www.cognotion.com to find out more information.