ServiceMax CEO Neil Barua Joins StreetWise’s Board of Directors

A high national unemployment rate translates into fierce competition for jobs. This is especially true for adults living in low-income communities where Covid-19 has hit the hardest and access to job opportunities has been historically limited. As we eye economic recovery and work readiness for underserved communities, it is critical to focus on a solution that is effective and beneficial to many: mentorship.

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StreetWise Partners has teamed up with ServiceMax, the leading asset-centric field service management software company, to pair technology professionals with unemployed or underemployed men and women ages 18+ from historically overlooked and under-resourced communities. StreetWise is a 23-year-old non-profit mentoring organization that drives economic equity through its innovative programming. The program ensures a quantity, quality and diversity of relationships through their 2,000 volunteers. Mentors teach mentees how to identify opportunities, expertly promote themselves, and navigate the job market to achieve their goals.

Together, StreetWise and ServiceMax will support these individuals through mock interviews, intensive mentoring and educational opportunities in order to provide them with the skills, resources, and access to networks they need in order to secure and maintain employment. ServiceMax CEO, Neil Barua, will also join StreetWise’s board of directors.

In today’s environment, the value derived from mentoring is more important than ever for the unemployed and underemployed. As overlooked adults compete for jobs, they need a strong foundation of essential soft skills and the social capital to open doors to opportunity. Mentoring provides customized, one-to-one attention and reinforces positive skill building, while providing a safe space to make mistakes that allow mentees to learn and grow. Mentors help problem solve, provide valuable industry knowledge and assist with confidence building.

To tackle the opportunity gap, it is critical that we build a strong network and community for low-income adults, which is achievable through mentorship. Some estimates suggest that up to 70% of all jobs are not published on publicly available job search sites. Research has long shown that up to 80% of jobs are filled through networking, with LinkedIn reporting that more than 70% of professionals get hired at companies where they already have a connection and applicants who are referred to a job by a current employee are 9x more likely to get hired. This kind of social capital is not available in low-income communities where young adults report significantly fewer informal mentors beyond family and neighbors. Where you grow up, where you go to school and whether your parents are college educated make a difference – sometimes 12x the advantage in gaining access to opportunity. Robert Putnam’s book Our Kids found that young people from the top socioeconomic tier report more than double the number of mentors in their lives.

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“StreetWise Partners is thrilled to partner with Service Max, especially given their desire to bridge the career gap within the technology industry,” said Shari Krull, Executive Director of StreetWise Partners. “We have so many mentees who are eager for roles within the sector, and this partnership will provide them with the tools needed to be successful.”

“I have worked with StreetWise on a personal level for a few years and have been impressed with their mission and the impact they make on society. Today, we are thrilled to take it to another level and partner with StreetWise to help job seekers in underserved communities find employment and launch their careers,” says Barua. “Success should not be based on luck or socio-economic status. By creating structures that support communities in need, more people can succeed, and we can begin to create a more equitable future.”

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