The 30-month XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition has concluded, demonstrating that innovative training technology can reskill unemployed or underemployed workers without a college degree in half the time for jobs earning twice as much.
XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling set out three years ago to find the industry innovators that could develop and demonstrate effective rapid reskilling solutions for individuals most vulnerable to employment loss. The competition was sponsored by New Profit as part of the Future of Work Grand Challenge. Twelve hundred entrants from 26 countries set out to take this mantle in the Future of Work Grand Challenge, including 118 entrants representing 20 countries from XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling.
On January 24th, the 30-month competition concluded with four finalists and an estimation that individuals who received training will increase wages by $8.7M in one year, a $20,000 increase per worker. Before training, the average hourly wage of these workers was $8.80, which is expected to increase to $19 post-Rapid Reskilling training.
As part of Team Dignified, Alelo, Career Path Services, and WholeStory were one of the final teams pushing innovation to deliver rapid upskilling and reskilling to under-resourced workers. Semifinalists and finalists were awarded a total of $1.2M throughout the competition to support the cost of technological development. The final prize went unawarded since 10 months proved too little time for any of the finalists to train and place 5,000 workers in jobs across three industries.
That’s not stopping Alelo, Career Path Services, WholeStory and some of the other finalists from pushing innovation forward post-XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, though. “XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling set the foundation for training workers vulnerable to employment loss in half the time, improving their income twice as much, and preparing them for success in the digital revolution,” said Alelo CEO Dr. Lewis Johnson. “All the finalists in the competition were winners, and Alelo intends to leverage its success to bring innovative training to more workers in need.”
Some of the competition finalists are even talking about collaboration. “Skilling under-resourced workers is a massive undertaking that requires training employees, but also providing critical wrap-around services like interviewing skills, transportation solutions, and more. That’s difficult for one company to do alone,” said Nathan Mazzuca, Career Path Services Regional Director of Western Washington. “One thing XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling taught us is that we must approach this challenge through collaboration,” added WholeStory Co-Founder and CEO John Roach.
While the competition is officially concluded, XPRIZE continues to support finalists through an Alumni Network, connecting them with companies, aligned nonprofits, and other groups to develop and expand training programs. This includes inviting Alumni to future XPRIZE events. Alelo will share its innovations in healthcare training during the pandemic with a global coalition on February 9th at the XPRIZE “Innovations in Healthcare” Showcase.
Related: Read how eight weeks of training changed the lives of Sereta and Kayla, two underemployed workers Alelo reskilled and placed in careers for XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling.