Teen Workforce Initiative

Overview

In order to help young adults achieve their goals and enter the workforce with confidence, the ASU Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) has partnered with St. Joseph the Worker to build an app called the Teen Workforce Initiative App. This app will enable young adults to find a job and launch themselves into the working world. 

 

Problem

As youth begin to grow up, a daunting task awaits them: Entering the workforce. Applying to a job can be scary. Oftentimes, young adults don’t know what they need in order to make it through the application process. Creating resumes and cover letters can be tough, especially if they were never taught how to do so. Interviews and workplace etiquette, along with soft skills can be a real barrier to their goals. In addition to these challenges, teens from low-income families may not have access to resources such as proper interview attire or access to reliable transportation. The Teen Workforce Initiative App helps young adults learn how to navigate the world of job applications. The app has the resources that are crucial for young adults and job postings that have been thoroughly vetted for safety and authenticity. 

 

Approach

The CIC has created a prototype of an app that helps people build job skills and find work. The app is truly innovative, with creative features such as a reward system designed to engage users and encourage them to continue developing skills that are important for the workforce. The reward system draws in users with prizes such as gift cards, phone cases, office supplies, and more. These rewards can be redeemed using points gained from different activities, such as uploading a resume, signing up for a job fair, taking a quiz on interviewing skills, and more. The app is filled with job-finding and skill-building resources. It includes a resume builder, which eliminates the barrier that comes with never being taught how to make a resume. It also includes advice, links to webinars, job fairs, and help for getting items like bus passes so that the user can get to their interviews and then to their new job. 

 

Supporting Artifacts

The Amazon Working Backwards process produces three artifacts - a Press Release, a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and a Visual depiction of the user experience. You can find the Teen Workforce Initiative artifacts here:

PDF icon TWI PRFAQ Press Release and FAQ
PDF icon TWI VISUAL

Next Steps

The prototype has been presented to St. Joseph the Worker, who will build the app using tools from Amazon Web Services.

About the ASU CIC

The ASU Smart Cities Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) is a strategic relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is supported by AWS on ASU’s Innovation campus - SkySong. The mission of the CIC is to drive Innovation Challenges that materially benefit the greater Phoenix metro area and beyond. The CIC will do this by solving pressing community and regional challenges, using shareable and repeatable technology solutions from ideation through prototype, as a service for the greater human good.

The CIC also provides real-world problem-solving experiences to students by immersing them in the application of proven innovation methods in combination with the latest technologies to solve important challenges in the public sector. 

The challenges being addressed cover a wide variety of topics including homelessness, water conservation, vandalism, pedestrian safety, digital service delivery and many others. The CIC leverages the deep subject matter expertise of government, education and non-profit organizations to clearly understand the customers affected by public sector challenges and develops solutions that meet the customer needs.

For more information on the ASU CIC, to read about projects or to submit a challenge, please visit https://smartchallenges.asu.edu.

Photos