Bengaluru-headquartered skills assessment developer HireMee has made it to the list of five finalists of the $5 million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition. HireMee is the only non-US firm to make it to the prestigious global list, a press release said.
Launched in June 2020, XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition is powered by New Profit, a venture philanthropy organisation. As part of the Future of Work Grand Challenge, it aims to achieve broader systemic change to help prepare 12 million Americans from under-invested communities for career success by 2025. The competition incentivises teams to develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of a quick training and re-skilling solution for individuals most vulnerable to employment loss in the US.
‘Reimagining job training’
HireMee competed in round two by deploying its solution to quickly reskill under-resourced workers. Judges evaluated all testing data, to move five teams forward as finalists, choosing them because of their reduced training time, and higher job placement rate, and retention rate.
HireMee is now spinning off Isotonik Solutions as a US company with Chocko Valliappa, Tom Dretler, and Shirish Pareek as co-founders. “We are excited to see how the five finalist teams in this competition have tackled the challenge of closing the skills gaps,” said XPRIZE CEO, Anousheh Ansari.
“The trainings offered are empowering workers and increasing accessibility to full-time, living wage jobs; radically changing lives and bringing abundance for all. The finalists are reimagining job training and career development; leveraging AI, VR, and disruptive technologies and their efforts are paramount in demonstrating the value of fast-paced training programmes.”
The five finalist teams are Alelo, Los Angeles; Dignified Work, formerly Dignity of Work, Spokane; Team Isotonic, formerly HireMee, Bengaluru; SHIFA360, San Diego; and VITAL, Boston, Massachusetts. A milestone award of $1,500,000 will be shared equally between these teams.
Isotonik Solutions, US, as a spun-off entity from HireMee will deploy its wide-ranging global experience to build new, replicable pathways to rapidly reskill American workers in the final round of the XPRIZE competition.
According to Chocko Valliappa, Founder of HireMee, “Team HireMee is proud of this prestigious honour earned while deploying our proven strengths in using digital technology on an unmatched scale to enable the future of work. We hope to contribute significantly by solving the critical challenge of Rapid Reskilling. HireMee will continue to provide the technology spine for Team Isotonik, as a continuation of its journey towards enabling jobs to millions around the world.”
“Team Isotonik is excited at the opportunity to optimise our ideas on a much larger scale in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and administration as we strive to exceed our execution abilities in skill-building,” says Shirish Pareek, Isotonik co-founder based in Maryland, US.
“As a finalist team, Isotonik is gearing up to deliver superior outcomes by training at least 5,000 individuals in three different occupations in three different industries and placing them into relevant jobs in the coming months,” adds Tom Dretler, Massachusetts, US-based Isotonik co-founder.
“We hoped teams would increase job training by 50 per cent. But so far their solutions have increased training by 87 per cent, with another round of testing to optimize their ideas,” said Dr. Monique Golden, Social Science Lead for XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling.
As a finalist, HireMee is challenged to achieve an exponential increase in results by training at least 5,000 individuals in three different occupations in three different industries and placing them into relevant jobs and will test its solution from May to August, with judges set to review the data later this year.
The Grand Challenge is made possible by Strada Education Network, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Comcast NBCUniversal, Goodwill, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Schultz Family Foundation, and many others.
The initiative also brings together a consortium of design and operating partners driving positive change in workforce development including JFF, Accenture, Brandeis University, Education Design Lab, Goodwill Industries International, and Jobcase.