Summer youth job initiative expands opportunities and empowers more youth by partnering with WorkHere.
Regions all across the U.S. have workforce development boards charged with implementing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). One of the many functions of these boards is to direct the federal, state, and local funding of Workforce development initiatives in designated communities.
The workforce development board of Marion County, Indiana, is EmployIndy. EmployIndy contracts with organizations to provide employment services to eligible Marion County residents. EmployIndy’s stated vision is:
To drive growth in Indianapolis by investing in innovative strategies that ensure all residents have access to career pathways where they gain the skills needed to enter into the jobs (and ultimately careers) that Indianapolis’ employers have to offer.
One of EmployIndy’s programs is Project Indy. It’s a summer jobs program for Indianapolis youth and young adults, ages 16 to 24 funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the Summer Jobs and Beyond Program. Project Indy is an expansion of EmployIndy’s existing program, YouthWorks Indy.
WorkHere has demonstrated a unique ability to connect young people to jobs by flipping the job search from being list-based to being location-based. For job-seekers who don't own a vehicle or who rely on public transit, this is a huge help to ensure they can find meaningful employment in a realistic location. The partnership and mobile platform have shown success with Project Indy, our youth jobs initiative here in Indianapolis. -Marie Mackintosh, Chief Operations Officer, EmployIndy
Project Indy launched in 2016 with the goal of employing 1000 Indianapolis youth over the summer. Most of the jobs available came from EmployIndy’s existing and often subsidized partners like Teen Works and the Indianapolis Parks Department. The goal for the summer of 2017 was to reduce dependency on subsidized jobs and to broaden its outreach by increasing the kinds of employment opportunities and the number of youth and young adults who engage with the program.
To meet the 2017 outreach goal, EmployIndy wanted an easy-to-use mobile application that could connect youth from all over the city to nearby jobs. In late 2016, EmployIndy sought contractors to build an app for Project Indy. The problem was that building a mobile app from scratch is a lengthy process and most likely would not have been ready for the summer of 2017.
EmployIndy heard about a new Indianapolis-based startup called WorkHere, an existing job-search app, and reached out to them. WorkHere sounded exactly like the kind of tool EmployIndy was seeking.
The WorkHere team listened to EmployIndy’s needs and envisioned Project Indy youth using their existing social-mobile platform. They already knew that three significant factors would make WorkHere the perfect app for Project Indy:
WorkHere is the only tool on the market that is GPS accurate when it comes to job locations — meaning it is the only tool that is hyperlocal. Zip codes cover too large an area when you are walking or riding a bike to work. Cities like Indianapolis have large areas where public transportation just doesn't move fast enough, so a job close to home (or a relative's job) is the difference between being able to work and not being able to work.
WorkHere is a real mobile app that also works on the web. Mobile is perfect for young people and full desktop/laptop support matches perfectly with WorkOne facilities, which have lots of desktop computers.
Off the Shelf
EmployIndy chose to move forward with WorkHere’s simple and cost-effective solution: WorkHere would build a custom web page for Project Indy that would have sign-up forms for the Project Indy youth and employers. These forms would collect data to speed up job recommendations as well as collect required data to support performance metrics for the grants that fund the program. Project Indy youth would be directed into a downloadable Project Indy app powered by WorkHere so they could explore nearby job opportunities and connect with employers.
Building Project Indy’s job search around an existing app platform would ensure that EmployIndy would have a working, ready-to-use experience for the summer of 2017.
By leveraging WorkHere’s existing app, EmployIndy also gained access to existing benefits:
Future software upgrades
Custom youth sign up
Custom employer sign up
Employer onboarding support
Marketing and operational support
Captured information and analytics
Live chat-based service delivery
Notifications, emails, texting, and chat capabilities
Geolocation, and geofencing capabilities providing highly focused messaging to constituents
EmployIndy appreciates WorkHere’s simple and cost-effective solution that allowed them to be accessible to the youth and expand the employment opportunities in a short amount of time.
The WorkHere app is continually growing and evolving. Organizations that partner with WorkHere can take advantage of the growing platform at no additional cost. Some features created during the first year working with EmployIndy include:
Workforce agencies need a way to organize and brand themselves. Network Pages allow workforce agencies to group employers, workers, and workforce development staff and share opportunities. Employers, workforce development staff, and workers can find one another and connect, and it’s easy for workers to view and apply to jobs at participating places. It’s also a great way to organize and deliver data.
Employer badges make it easy for members of a constituent group like Veterans, National Guardsmen, ex-offenders and others to find jobs that are a good fit without having to disclose to anyone that they are a member of that constituent group. An employer can display the Second Chance badge, making it easy for Ex-Offenders to identify friendly employers.
WorkHere supports CredentialEngine, a new standard that makes it easy for education and licensing organizations to verify that a job seeker has the credential they claim. WorkHere enables workers to display credentials on their profile and employers can check the credential with a mouse click.
For workforce programs, WorkHere can even let you supply your own credentials to job seekers that complete your programs. For example, in Indianapolis, Job Ready Indy badges are added to profiles of youth who complete one of seven different soft skills training courses.
Workforce agencies need data. Lots of it. WorkHere's custom sign up forms for employers and workers make short work of collecting data required by your program. WorkHere provides sign-up data in real time, collects necessary operational data, and delivers performance metrics to justify grants and match employers with other workforce agency services. WorkHere can gather information that is needed for grant reimbursement or workforce operations. Sensitive information like race and age is not accessible by employers.
WorkHere can power job initiatives all over the country. WorkHere is affordable and easy to set up. WorkHere can be co-branded and offers flexible access to data. Because WorkHere is always being improved, your program will benefit from WorkHere’s evolving suite of new features for both workers and employers, and workforce development staff. Because WorkHere is affordable and off-the-shelf, often money saved can be used to broaden marketing outreach or toward a host of other initiatives to help workers at the ground level.
By partnering with WorkHere, WIOA boards, local economic development organizations, and local governments have an off-the-shelf workforce development solution. Local workers gain access to a powerful discovery tool that will enable them to explore, build, connect and share with other nearby people and resources, so as to network and create meaningful work-life relationships. Workers will never outgrow using the WorkHere app either as it contains 95% of the businesses and most open, internet posted jobs.
Empower workers and your area employers with WorkHere.