AstrumU, a leading AI data platform company that specializes in measuring non-traditional workforce skills, and SHRM announced a partnership aimed at significantly improving how employers, government and philanthropies invest in and leverage workforce training to bridge the skills gap, putting more people to work and with better career outcomes.
“This strategic partnership with AstrumU is part of our commitment to helping HR organizations streamline and become more effective in hiring new non-traditional and more diverse talent, which in turn will help create more social and economic development impact for underrepresented communities”
With more than 10 million open jobs in the United States, the AstrumU and SHRM partnership aims to streamline employment pathways by using artificial intelligence and machine learning to go beyond the typical workforce tools of resumes, transcripts and job descriptions, matching people with non-traditional backgrounds who have skills and work experience – “distance traveled” – that align with job openings. Successful implementation will result in meaningful return on investment (ROI), creating improved financial and economic results for individuals, employers, and their communities.
Their process will use SkillSet, a product suite from AstrumU that organizes and analyzes the data used by individuals, educators and employers nationwide for investing in workforce development. SkillSet removes inefficiencies of the current manual, anecdotal hiring process and creates a systematic approach to investing in economic mobility, especially for underserved and underrepresented communities, while also improving the hiring process for employers.
“Working with SHRM will enable us to have a more significant impact on workforce development investments addressing employers’ hiring needs across the country,” said AstrumU CEO Adam Wray. “By helping all participants streamline their workforce investments through our SkillSet products, we will give everyone equal access to opportunities that create greater financial stability for families and communities.”
“This strategic partnership with AstrumU is part of our commitment to helping HR organizations streamline and become more effective in hiring new non-traditional and more diverse talent, which in turn will help create more social and economic development impact for underrepresented communities,” said Johnny C. Taylor Jr., SHRM CEO. “As the leading authority in all things work, SHRM excels at finding and implementing cutting-edge technology solutions that maximize HR processes and outcomes, AstrumU’s innovation completely fits that bill.”
“Talent is equally distributed; opportunity is not. This partnership will change that, especially for people of color and historically underrepresented communities,” said David L. Steward, chair of AstrumU. “Together with SHRM, we will change workforce development by recording experiences of grit, determination and perseverance that lead to career opportunities and new pathways for employment. Much like GPS, we want to help people navigate to their best job opportunities and career paths based on their unique gifts,” Steward said.
Wray added, “When we add ‘distance travelled’ to SkillSet – those unique challenges some people face like working multiple jobs while getting a degree; using certificate programs to acquire valuable job skills; or, caring for parents or siblings in an extended family – there is a much more robust picture of their skills, a picture that may not be captured on a transcript or resume.”
The partnership’s first initiative is expected to be a pilot program in Missouri that will measure and provide actionable insights for all stages of the workforce development process. The initial focus is on optimizing the inefficiencies between employers and a soon-to-be workforce training graduates that lead to inequalities of outcomes throughout the hiring process.
As the leading data platform company leveraging machine learning, natural language processing and generative artificial intelligence, AstrumU helps individuals, educators and companies improve workforce skills. For example, information from SkillSet will make it easier for prospective students to choose the most-appropriate training program for their upskilling needs and help hiring managers better identify – based strictly on a skills match instead of a degree or other traditional signals – which candidates’ skills are more likely to succeed in a role.
By partnering, AstrumU and SHRM plan to use AI and data-driven technologies to establish a foundation for workforce development initiatives nationwide to leverage competency-based hiring, unlocking more workforce opportunities for all individuals regardless of how they began their learning and working journeys. The Missouri pilot is the first step of many for creating greater financial stability for families and communities while improving outcomes for educators and employers, as well as workforce and economic development program managers.
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