PALO ALTO, CA, December 16, 2013 – The Wadhwani Foundation (WF) today announced the launch of its first US-based initiative, ‘Race to a Job’ (RTAJ), after operating in India for more than a decade driving economic growth in India through job creation and skill development. Race to a Job leverages technology to deploy educational programs designed to address America’s skills gap for high demand jobs, especially those which do not require a college degree.
WF’s expansion highlights the challenges economies around the world are facing as they try to combat the global skills gap. Channelling lessons and best practices from Race to a Job India, RTAJ- US has been preparing for its entry into the American market for the past year and a half, conducting research, vetting potential partners, and meeting with key stakeholders involved in skills development. RTAJ will focus its partnerships and programs in areas of current and future high demand mid-skills jobs which currently span the fields of healthcare, IT, manufacturing, and automotive.
The program’s US launch coincides with the signing of Memoranda of Understanding for two pilot programs. RTAJ begins its work with Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland to transform their Cyber Technology Certificate program and the Borough of Manhattan Community College and 1199 SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund in New York on the digitization of their Medical Assistant Specialist curriculum. Both sectors project substantial growth over the next several years: according to the 2013 Burning Glass International Inc. report on Cyber Security Jobs [http://www.burning- glass.com/research/cyber-security/], employer demand has grown exponentially in the last five years- 3.5 times faster than computer jobs and 12 times faster than the labor market overall. Additionally, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the demand for Medical Assisting is likely to exceed current national demand for 500,000 Medical Assistants.
“Wadhwani Foundation aims to launch initiatives that have a sustained and wholesome impact on economic development. Race to a Job (RTAJ) is one such initiative where technology tools like online courses, simulation and gaming will enable skill development,” said Wadhwani Foundation Founder and Chairman, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, “RTAJ will be a catalyst to take skill development to scale and create an eco-system for larger participation.”
Providing a model for the nation
The co-partners will build a flipped classroom model for the nation by designing and implementing an open online job trainings delivery system – available anytime, anywhere – and which is current, relevant, and scalable. This system will be used to transform tried and tested job-focused programs throughout the United States into learner-centric programs using interactive, multimedia, and gaming technologies. Race to a Job courses combine cutting–edge online and offline learning strategies designed to complement student schedules and the crucial role teachers play in the classroom.
Students will also have the opportunity to participate in digital support networks comprised of their peers. On demand updates distributed instantaneous will ensure that the content is in-sync with the needs of the Industry.
Wadhwani Foundation President and CEO, Dr. Ajay Kela, said, “Race to a Job (RTAJ) is an ambitious high-impact, niche programme to develop employment ready skill sets at scale through leveraged use of technology. We aim to revolutionize skill development and achieve the objective of reducing the very high youth and displaced worker unemployment in the country whilst fulfilling the needs of the Industry where jobs are going vacant due to lack of available skills. We will leverage our years of expertise in building networks and using technology to enable sustained productive employment. To start with, our goal is to create hybrid online job programs in a more standardized, nationally scalable and always relevant manner to maximum the country’s human potential.”
About Wadhwani Foundation
Founded in 2003 by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, an IT entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, California, Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit organization focused on high-impact, niche activities leading to accelerated economic development. Its mission is to help individuals achieve their full potential, regardless of background. The Foundation’s work in India includes five initiatives: • National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) • Skills Development Network (SDN): Race to a Job • Opportunity Network for Disabled (ODN) • Research and Innovation Network (RIN) • India-US Policy.
For more information, please visit www.wadhwani-foundation.org.
About Race to a Job (RTAJ)
Race to a Job is an initiative of the Wadhwani Foundation, with operations in India and the United States. RTAJ leverages technology to meet the demands of the global skills gap by partnering with industry to develop and deploy jobs-driven curriculum and vocational training through a unique blend of online and offline learner-centric strategies.