Last month, Jobcase, a social media platform working to empower America’s workforce, and Microsoft New England, a local branch promoting research, software innovation and community in the heart of Kendall Square, partnered with Dorchester-based career-readiness nonprofit Youth HUB Boston, to host a youth job fair. The novel collaboration of tech companies and a local service organization ultimately connected over 400 attendees with more than 20 local employers.
The event was created to empower young people in their job search- to provide them with access to tools and resources to help them make their own best case to employers, to identify jobs that are the best fit for their skills and long-term career goals, and to increase opportunities for local employers to discover youth talent in underserved communities.
Hosting the event at Youth HUB Boston’s headquarters in Dorchester’s Codman Square, Youth HUB, Jobcase, and Microsoft provided young job seekers with a range of career development resources. Upon arrival, job fair participants received a checklist of “keys to career development”, outlining elements crucial to both short and long term success in their career paths. Throughout the course of the event, attendees received guidance on preparing job applications and seeking references, best practices for resume writing, strategies for networking and advice on how to use online Jobcase career profiles to best showcase their talents. The Jobcase team helped attendees create and customize their own Jobcase career profiles, developing elements to best showcase their achievements from work experience, school, or volunteering. To further strengthen participants’ online career presence, Jobcase also provided free professional headshot photos – an important requirement for anyone looking to build a personal career brand. Ultimately, the most effective advantage provided may be the ability to connect to peers via the Jobcase network, which enables people to reach out to one another to offer or receive help, creating a path for neighbor-to-neighbor supported career success.
Microsoft generously donated Surface Tablets for use at the event, enabling attendees to easily access the Jobcase social media platform and more effectively network with each other and employers at the event. The tablets also enabled workshops to be hands-on and interactive, gave attendees the ability to easily take immediate steps to create their own professional profiles and helped them explore new resources and tools.
“The event was powerful because we were able to get youth talent and local employers in the same room,” noted Ayda Zugay, Youth HUB’s Interim Executive Director. “It was a visual representation of the need in our community for youth jobs, as well as the desire of local employers to see our youth as assets not liabilities. Jobcase and Microsoft played a key role in amplifying this effect well beyond the 400 attendees, to a community of over 10,000 – that is real systems change.”
With over 50 million members, Jobcase is a social media platform that empowers users to showcase and improve their work life and Youth Hub is a non-profit organization focused on youth employment and job readiness. Working together, they explained, the non-profit and tech communities can improve underserved communities’ access to crucial career resources. Through this novel collaboration, the partners have also created innovative approaches for empowering people to be successful in 21st-century career development. This is a great example of how local tech companies can “give back” most effectively, by powering non-profit organizations with the right tools for success.
“Getting started in your worklife, or career, can sometimes be a confusing and daunting task – we’ve all been there,” said Fred Goff, CEO of Jobcase, “By freely equipping young job seekers with the right digital tools, Jobcase not only empowers them to more effectively job search, but through the Jobcase platform, we are also able to introduce them to a community of people who have been in their shoes and can provide guidance on not just finding any job, but finding a great one. It’s those relationships that we hope will help them throughout their entire career.”
Microsoft’s contributions were also crucial to the success of the Youth Hub job fair which had over 400 attendees, nearly 200 employment applications, and over 100 youth who attended workshops such as resume writing, branding and networking, mock interviews and over 50 youth who left with professional profile photos.
Jobcase is seeking additional opportunities to partner with nonprofit organizations to continue helping empower America’s workforce. If you are interested in working with, sponsoring, volunteering at, or attending a future Jobcase event, or would like to learn more about Jobcase and its Jobcase Cares Initiative, please contact myself, Christopher Scranton (Christopher@jobcase.com), or head over to Jobcase.com and join in the conversation!
Christopher Scranton is the Director of Corporate Development & Nonprofit Partnerships at Jobcase. He leads Jobcase Cares, the company’s initiative to provide big data technology to support collaborations with nonprofit, government, and industry partners that empower American workers. Prior to Jobcase, Christopher was Senior Manager for Big Data & Technology Initiatives for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. He led the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative’s efforts to support and grow business activity, research, collaboration, and innovation in big data, open data, and analytics across the region. Before MassBigData, Christopher led grant programs at MassTech focused on technology-based, cluster-focused economic development efforts in support of emerging and innovation-rich industries including advanced manufacturing, nanotech, digital games, and clean energy. Prior to his work for the state, he was Operations Director at City Year.