June 5, 2012
It’s projected that one in five people in the United States lack the necessary Internet skills needed to find a job in today’s marketplace.
Now, dear Tech Cocktail reader, we know that’s not you. But you probably know quite a few people who fit the bill.
Tech Cocktail San Francisco mixer alum JobScout is working to increase digital literacy to support web-based employment searches. Through an online platform designed to get people back to work, JobScout uses social game design to engage users in self-paced, online activities that focus on Internet skills applied in a real life context.
Through a merit badge system modeled on the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, JobScout rewards users who master skills on the site with badges. It’s the gamification of How to Use the Internet, breaking up lessons on topics such as browsers, privacy, and navigating LinkedIn with games that test material covered in the exercise.
Lessons have been designed according to the Basic Digital Literacy Skills Framework developed by the State of California; a framework of skills considered necessary for effective learning in the workplace of today, ensuring that the individual user is provided with a comprehensive toolkit to approach the job market.
JobScout boasts a custom resume builder and built-in job search function, and will soon feature the “One-Stop Job Shop,” a tool that will allow users to manage their job application process right through the JobScout website. The team, led by CEO Christina Gagnier, also includes Stephanie Margossian and Carter Fort.
JobScout is being piloted in nearly 180 library branches in California; this partnership with an offline institution (the libraries provide the user base a point of access and customer support) is what makes this venture stand-out.
Looking forward, JobScout will be available as an application within the iTunes App Store in the fall. The team is looking to do some hiring of their own, by the way of developers as well as customer support, as well as developing content in different languages.
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