Tapping into the Potential of Opportunity Youth
According to a study by the Civil Enterprises & America’s Promise Alliance, Opportunity Youth, defined as a subset of the population that is neither in school nor employed, represent 6.7 million of the 38.9 million youth between the ages of 16-24. This population encounters significant barriers when accessing employment due to the fact that:
Many lack the traditional proxies for ability that employers expect—diploma’s, degrees, and previous work experience. 30-40% of Opportunity Youth lack a High School diploma, and many have never worked.
Few grew up with a college-educated parent, and most lack the familial knowledge and personal networks to have a good sense of the work marketplace. They have trouble knowing what types of roles exist in the modern workforce, and which ones they would be good at. They have even more trouble conveying to employers their ability and potential to do meaningful work.
To overcome these challenges and provide Opportunity Youth with the resources to achieve employment and social mobility, GlobalMindED will partner with the online employment resource, VOCATIO.
For our initial pilot, one hundred Opportunity Youth in the Denver Metro area will participate in a hybrid in-person and online platform experience called “Denver Untapped” to promote career empowerment and job readiness, and to facilitate talent scouting and sourcing by employers of this talent pool. Through VOCATIO’s EdutrainmentTM & Talent Scouting Framework, participants will have the opportunity to leverage predictive talent analytics to discover job roles for which they’re likely to be high fits, based on their personalities and aptitudes, to engage in online career communities with peers, and to be matched directly with employment opportunities.
Opportunity Youth will be provided with “edutraining” content to inform them of potential careers that align with their talents and interests. Through in-person soft-skills workshops and workforce development trainings, Opportunity Youth will be provided agency and empowerment to leverage their unique potential within the job market.
For employers, VOCATIO’s platform helps employers “discover hidden talent” — both identifying and engaging high caliber, high fit candidates that they wouldn’t have otherwise found. While a significant portion of the Opportunity Youth may lack higher education or formal work experience, VOCATIO’s “Scouting Report” data allows organizations to change their deficit mindset to a growth mindset towards this population, and find value in a previously untapped talent pool. Opportunity Youth, a currently underutilized subset of the population, present a great strength to the future workforce when engaged to their fullest potential.
While the “Scouting Reports”created by VOCATIO provide a more holistic view of a candidate’s potential, ultimately “Denver Untapped’s” daring innovation will be to showcase Opportunity Youth directly to employers in a NFL-style combine event. This showcase event utilizes business case and job simulation content and is designed by VOCATIO to show employers how Opportunity Youth can match specific job-role functions in the current job market.
This aforementioned elements of predictive data analytics, training and the showcase will act as a lever of equity with employers which will allow for a more diverse, engaged workforce.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Denver, CO, USA
The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:
What makes our solution innovative:
The unique collaboration between GlobalMindED and VOCATIO and the proposed solution of “Denver Untapped” is innovative because it treats Opportunity Youth not as charity, but as an untapped segment of the metropolitan Denver talent pool. By making it easier for employers to “discover the hidden talents” of this pool both quantitatively and qualitatively (rather than their life challenges only), we can increase the visibility and hiring of these youth on a specific job role function basis at scale.
How technology is integral to our solution:
Technology, specifically use of predictive data analytics, informs the entire platform experience for the Opportunity Youth and Employers. With the results from the personality and cognitive tests, we can personalize the talent discovery, job-role and industry exploration, and professional readiness of Opportunity Youth. The same technology allows us to use the same data to help Employers scout for high-caliber, high-potential candidate matches based on fit and predicted performance, independent of traditional resume fields that would normally prevent them from noticing or giving reasonable opportunities to this population.
Our solution goals over the next 12 months:
Over the next 12 months, our solution goals are:
increase the visibility (knowledge + opinion) of Opportunity Youth as “high potential” candidates to current employers. After the intervention, we will survey a segment of employers on the visibility of Opportunity Youth and are striving for a 25-50% improvement in the visibility of this population.
increase the “Day 1 Readiness” of Opportunity Youth to compete for internships and post-graduation opportunities with employers
help each of the Opportunity Youth to identify 5 potential companies in which their talent and interests would be a good fit for.
Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our solution to affect the lives of more people:
First, we want to build the most-far reaching, inclusive and efficient talent scouting platform to help employers discover the “hidden talent” among Opportunity Youth. A larger network of contacts and partners like the Denver Chamber of Commerce will allow for greater integration of Opportunity Youth into the workforce.
Additionally, we will build the most impactful infrastructure, with the collaboration of local schools and non-profit partners, to help Opportunity Youth discover and cultivate their talents for the realities, opportunities and performance expectations of the Marketplace.
Our promotional video:
The key characteristics of the populations who will benefit from our solution in the next 12 months:
The regions where we will be operating in the next 12 months:
The countries where we currently operate:
How we will reach and retain our customers or beneficiaries:
To recruit the initial 100 Opportunity Youth for this “Denver Untapped” pilot, GlobalMindED and VOCATIO will collaborate with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Office of Colorado Governor Hickenlooper. The combination of the off-line and online community of partners and employers will help to deepen engagement and move youth through the pipeline to real opportunities.
The plan to retain our prospective employer customers is to efficiently deliver on the sourcing of high-caliber, high-potential candidates in a targeted way. At the end of the day employers want and need such candidates regardless of where they are sourced.
How many people we are currently serving with our solution:
As this proposal is for a pilot program, both organizations have not employed this solution to the target population. GlobalMindED, through its annual conference, has engaged in conversations and innovative solutions to problems of access and equity with over 2,200 attendees and has mentored over 230 First-Generation-to-college students through its First-Gen Student Leadership Program. VOCATIO’s online platform currently serves more than 2500 college students across the country from a diverse set of private and public universities, large and small.
How many people we will be serving with our solution in the 12 months and the next 3 years:
In our pilot program, we engage a conservative number of Opportunity Youth participants to ensure the success of our intervention. After continuous outcome monitoring, we will scale our program quickly to meet the growing demands of our target population. Our pilot program, taking 3 months, will involve 100 Opportunity Youth receiving the online platform and in-person workshops. After 9 months, we will cumulatively serve 400 Opportunity Youth with our platform. After the first 12 months the plan is to cumulatively serve 600 students, and in years 2 and 3 we will serve 1500 and 4,000 Opportunity Youth, respectively.
How our solution team is organized:Hybrid of For Profit and Nonprofit
How many people work on our solution team:4
How many years we have been working on our solution:Less than 1 year
The skills our solution team has that will enable us to attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:
The greatest strength behind the partnership with GlobalMindED and VOCATIO is that both organizations have entrepreneurial, results oriented cultures along with the requisite program delivery skills to execute the details to achieve the access and equity results.
Additionally, GlobalMindED and VOCATIO possess the ability to narrate the intangible abilities and talents of Opportunity Youth to employer networks, many of which are unaware of the full potential of this population to the workforce.
Our revenue model:
GlobalMindED funds and sustains its social impact through partnerships and sponsorships with a diverse network of businesses and foundations. Our sponsors include Amazon, S&P Global, OZY Media, Entravision, Siemens, and HP. In addition to sponsorships, GlobalMindED engages in community initiatives through program support and community engagement grants.
VOCATIO funds its platform through employer subscriptions and employer branding sponsorships from their talent recruitment budgets. These include Nationwide, Ernst & Young, LexisNexis, and US Digital Partners.
To promote long-term sustainability, GlobalMindED and VOCATIO believe we can access public charity funding, social impact investors AND the talent recruitment budgets of private and public sector employers. With a focus on continuous measurement, optimization and outcomes, we will be able to showcase our success and tangible impact to Opportunity Youth and employers through the internship and job-fit matches we facilitate.
Why we are applying to Solve:
GlobalMindED and VOCATIO are applying to Solve because we recognize the new challenges that a technology and data driven economy will present to currently disenfranchised communities but we understand and value the role of technology to provide access and opportunities to these same populations. We value Solve’s emphasis on a community of technology driven organizations collaborating to find solutions to our economy’s most precarious issues. Solve will provide us with a network of like-minded companies to contribute to our solution and allow for our organizations to further enhance and create new data driven products to contribute to our solution.
The key barriers for our solution:
There are 3 key barriers that we believe Solve can play a part in helping us with:
Funding - the “halo effect” of a grant from Solve would help us further engage existing funders and attract new funders
Publicity - Solve will provide us inclusion into a new network of organizations and prospective partners working towards workforce access equity. Through this community, we will be able to engage a wider audience, sparking more involvement with our solution -- particularly from employers.
Talent - increased visibility from Solve will help us attract additional key players for our respective teams.
The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Solvers: