Posted by Dan DeMaioNewton, VP of Workforce Solutions, EmpyraWorks
The Close It 2014 Summit led by Innovate+Educate brought together leaders in workforce development, business, education, non-profits, and social impact to engage in meaningful dialogue and action planning to work collaboratively, share best practices, and learn skills to take home and apply to improve workforce performance.
The challenges we face in closing the talent gap are complex and multidimensional. They include macroeconomic policy decisions producing chronic unemployment and underemployment, the elimination of career ladders and corporate loyalty, and shrinking access to education that may lead to employment. Microeconomic factors compound the challenges where employers criticize a lack of talent to meet their precise needs while ignoring their responsibilities for training, and job seekers challenged with afflictive emotions employing antiquated tactics to find a job in a radically different 21st century talent place.
While we could spend years debating the best approach to resolve these complex issues, Innovate+Educate did something aggressive and brilliant. They issued the Job Madness Challenge. With the assistance of key partners that included the Alcoa Foundation, Wadhwani Foundation, TECNA, and Hope Street Group, and private companies, they issued a national challenge for companies to pitch their most innovate incubator products and services that would contribute immediately to addressing our talent gap problems.
From the 24 most innovative ideas, Innovate+Educate led 3 competitive rounds leading to the selection of 3 winning ideas whose companies received $50K, $35k, and $15k to help advance their disruptive solutions. These ideas from all Job Madness participants were innovative, original, and powerful, and selecting from the group of 24 must have been incredibly difficult. Hearing the pitches made by the 6 finalists was emotional and inspiring.
The three most disruptive workforce solutions named at Job Madness were:
As a workforce and education revolutionary, works side-by-side with global leaders helping businesses resolve their human capital challenges, educators deliver competency-based learning, and job seekers achieve their career potential.