RIPL Granting $12 Million to States to Combat Unemployment and Transform Workforce Development

Research Improving People’s Lives (RIPL) announced the launch of its Opening Workforce DOORS Grant Program to help states transform the outdated workforce and unemployment programs and get people back to work through cloud technology, streamlined digital services, and government data.

In the first half of 2023, RIPL will grant state governments $12 million worth of technical assistance and cloud technology to help them build and deploy the Data for Opportunity in Occupational Reskilling Solution (DOORS) and solve pressing challenges in workforce development.

DOORS is a digital tool that connects people with meaningful opportunities for reskilling and employment in in-demand industries at scale. RIPL’s approach leverages the government’s own data and accessible, user-centered design to analyze a user’s resume and skills and provide actionable recommendations for training opportunities, job openings, and new careers proven to lead to higher wages and earning potential. The DOORS recommendation engine is powered by AI, and scientifically-validated machine learning, which analyzes millions of state wage records to understand which careers similar job seekers have switched to, stuck with, and earned more in.

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“Finding the right career path can change an entire family’s trajectory – especially for those from under-resourced communities. We are excited to work with states and other organizations to help them leverage cloud-based technologies to even the playing field. We look forward to bringing the power and potential of modern data science and cloud technology to modernize workforce training programs and ultimately empower people to change their lives,” said Scott Jensen, CEO of RIPL.

As many learned from painful experiences during the pandemic, state workforce training and employment programs must quickly modernize to handle the needs of residents. Government agencies and residents need help with antiquated and hard-to-use systems, which can delay critical benefits. Meanwhile, services intended to help unemployed and dislocated workers are scattered across agencies and disconnected databases. Too many residents fall through the cracks and are left to struggle on their own.

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Through the Opening Workforce DOORS Grant Program, RIPL seeks to support governments to better apply innovative technology in addressing real-world challenges – particularly by helping labor and workforce development agencies apply their expertise and unlock their own data to address America’s widening skills gap.

Initial versions of DOORS have been successfully deployed by state governments in Maryland and Hawai’i, and work is currently underway in four other states. RIPL partnered with these states to customize DOORS, creating a one-stop shop for digital workforce services and integrating it into the existing technology landscape in each state.

Through the Opening Workforce DOORS Grant Program, RIPL will work with additional states to implement DOORS and explore new ways to leverage the platform. Grantees will receive full-service project management, technical, and scientific support, as well as access to and ownership of all related technologies. Amazon Web Services (AWS) helped fund these grants through an ongoing collaboration with RIPL.

“Cloud computing technology enables organizations to be more cost-effective, flexible, and user-friendly, which improves customer experiences,” said Kim Majerus, Vice President, Global Education, U.S. State, and Local Government at AWS. “State and local government agencies should have access to the same great infrastructure and services that are driving innovation in other industries. RIPL is using the cloud to improve the way citizens manage unemployment and underemployment. AWS is proud to support this new grant program to help states build the foundation to transform their workforce and unemployment systems, to make it easier for individuals to discover new career opportunities.”

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career opportunitiescloud technologyReskillingRIPLTraining Programsworkforce services
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