Report: Leveraging Technology to Increase Opportunity and Economic Security for Adults

Field Testing Tools that Break Barriers to Learning and Employment

EdTech WorldEd

An employment opportunity gap affects some 75 million adults in the United States who lack in-demand skills and connections necessary to advance in their careers and earn higher wages.

Many of the people in this population face barriers that prevent them from accessing formal upskilling opportunities. They may have limited literacy skills, or they may not have the flexibility to participate in training programs because they simply don’t have time or perhaps lack the social supports that make it possible to take time away from other responsibilities.

By harnessing digital technologies, we can remove barriers that prevent adults from developing skills and connecting to meaningful work and economic opportunities.

The EdTech Center at World Education, in partnership with the Employment Technology Fund, now ETF@JFFLabs, and with the support of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, is seeking ways to use technology in employment education initiatives. As part of that effort, EdTech Center researchers field-tested tools from seven companies in the ETF@JFFLabs portfolio—CareAcademy, Cell-Ed, Nepris, Northstar, PAIRIN, Skillsmart, and Signal Vine, whose offerings serve more than 1,500 learners and jobseekers. The tests focused on four areas: Learning and Training, Mentoring and Support, Job Search and Placement, and Assessment and Matching.

With support from Technology Testing for Adult Learning and Employment (TTALE) grants, the testing resulted in the publication of Leveraging Technology to Increase Opportunity and Economic Security for Adults, a seminal resource that shows the impact that ETF@JFFLabs portfolio companies have in the lives of workers and learners.


Priyanka Sharma, Jen Vanek, Alison Ascher Webber

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