Angela Jackson is the future of work lead at New Profit, a venture philanthropy firm which invests in social entrepreneurs who are thinking about how to break down barriers between people and opportunities in the United States. Jackson leads the $15 million future of work global fund.

“The spirit behind it (the fund) is to invest in entrepreneurs and companies developing innovative technologies and solutions to reskilling and upskilling low-wage workers and workers who are at the entry level,” she tells me in this episode of the Work in Progress podcast.

To that end, New Profit has launched a $6 million Future of Work Challenge aimed at identifying and funding promising solutions serving displaced and underinvested workers. The challenge has two parts—the Rapid Reskilling XPRIZE, with a goal of upskilling 25,000 workers displaced by COVID-19 and the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the U.S. initiative of MIT Solve aimed at sourcing online solutions that help workers assess their skills, find jobs in high-growth industries, and get placement support.

“With the Rapid Reskilling XPRIZE, we’re trying to surface innovations and innovators who are thinking about how do we exponentially decrease the time to train people for jobs of the future.” she explains.

Jackson says the second piece with MIT SOLVE is about re-imagining pathways to employment. “You hear a lot about people who will go to boot camps, or they’ll do a coding training. Once they have the skills, we’re looking for entrepreneurs and organizations out there who are thinking about how do we help workers assess their skills, find high growth jobs, get matched, and get placement support.”

New Profit says that, as a partner in the challenge, Jobs For The Future will equip five innovation-oriented workforce boards to deploy the winning solutions and technologies to one million displaced workers. Partners in the challenge include the Walmart FoundationStrada Education Network, the Annie E. Casey and Joyce foundations, Lumina Ventures, the Siegel Family EndowmentAccenture, IBM, CSU Global, and Gary Community Investments.

Hear more about the Future of Work Challenge, and how the winners will be chosen, in the Work in Progress podcast. You can listen here, or download the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. And please subscribe!

Episode 149: Angela Jackson, Future of Work Lead, New Profit
Host: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch, Melissa Panzer, and Ramona Schindelheim
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.

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