Building on Existing Success with a Virtual Career Center: Applications in Education, Corrections, and Corporate Career Development

Some of the greatest success stories in business come from adapting one thing to make another: a treatment for morphine addiction turned into a soft drink; an aid to help stabilize equipment on Navy ships in rough seas that became a popular children’s toy; a drug that was approved to lower blood pressure and ultimately became a treatment to help grow hair. History is full of examples in which an initial, successful innovation was followed by adaptations that went on to further success. The same can well apply to the Virtual Career Center (VCC) that Google and Maven Wave developed for the state of Rhode Island and also recently deployed in Wisconsin. Just like Coca-Cola, the Slinky, and Rogaine in the examples above, the capabilities found in the VCC can be put to good use in areas like education, departments of corrections, and corporate career development.

Building on Existing Success with a Virtual Career Center: Applications in Education, Corrections, and Corporate Career Development

Key Elements of the VCC

The VCC is an example of the superior results organizations can achieve by tapping into the latest technologies to create a suite of tools that are intuitive, flexible,and powerful. The VCC utilizes the public cloud, modern development processes, and user experience disciplines to go far beyond traditional solutions. Features include: 

  • a robust mobile experience 
  • collaboration tools (including video and chat)
  • communities of practice to supercharge skills offered by career coaches
  • advanced analytics and insights spawned by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
  • and much more

Built as a response to the unprecedented conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, VCC made the most of a difficult situation by leveraging the best of new technologies and delivering results that were previously unimaginable.

Looking outward and forward, the tools and capabilities in the VCC can also apply to higher education to help students and alumni, assist in correctional institutions as people reintegrate into the workforce, and provide enhancements to internal human resource development at corporations. 

Opportunities in Education, Departments of Correction and Career Development

Several immediate opportunities exist to repurpose and, in many cases, expand on the VCC solution. These include:

1. Higher Education

The modern, responsive and mobile VCC platform is well adapted for use as a next generation career counseling solution. Importantly, it delivers a central umbrella experience for student job seekers, counselors, corporate recruiters and even alumni. Benefits include:

  • Ease of collaboration: The Google technology that underpins the VCC solution is the most complete integrated suite of collaboration tools and technologies in the world today. This leads to an unrivaled level of interconnectedness and ease of use and thus, savings in terms of both time and resources. As a result, this is the most efficient solution possible.
  • Advanced technologies deliver enhanced results: New tools such as AI-driven chatbots increase engagement and responsiveness while ML can deliver services beyond resume parsing (e.g., combining user inputs like experience, skills, and interests with third-party demographic and psychographics to create new insights and recommendations). Google tools such as the Cloud Talent Search Solution API further enhance outputs and results.
  • Magnified outcomes for all stakeholders: Unifying disparate data and platforms leads to improved services and feature improvements that extend to all users, including those that have traditionally been harder to serve. For example, students can have insights generated for them earlier in their academic career, leading to an opportunity to craft a program of study and experience to match career capabilities and objectives.

2. Department of Corrections

Criminal justice reform and improvement is a top priority for 21st century society, making it an ideal candidate for modern solutions that deliver above and beyond traditional systems. Advantages include:

  • Modern solutions deliver exceptional user experience: The expanding scope and variety of available tools and technologies over the past 10 to 15 years have been truly extraordinary. Modern technologies deliver fast, intuitive, and comprehensive services in ways that were impossible not that many years ago. In most cases, however, services and tools for those reentering society from the correctional system have received scant resources or attention, making a reset to modern standards all the more necessary.
  • Going virtual to increase the reach and scope of services: The ability to deliver services virtually increases the scope and range of tools that can be offered. The ability to offer access to resources beyond the prison walls dramatically expands the opportunity to offer critical services.
  • Utilize analytics to expand insights: Advanced analytics can both improve the scope of content as well as measuring a solution’s efficacy. The reduction of recidivism is a key goal because it both improves the lives of individuals and lowers the total cost of incarceration. Advanced insights support these efforts. 

3. Internal Career Development

The race is on for talent these days, making training and support all the more critical for growing and maintaining the workforce needed to meet a fast-changing and highly competitive economy. Enhancing career development services offers the opportunity to: 

  • Find and retain talent: The employee of the future expects the ease of use and broad range of app-friendly solutions and services to which we have all grown accustomed. An easy and intuitive onboarding process is fast becoming table stakes, and tools for development and advancement within the enterprise must meet these same high standards.
  • Develop advanced insights to support corporate decision making: Unifying data and streamlining services leads to the generation of more useful and insightful outputs. The insights generated allow corporate leaders to develop a virtuous cycle of employee satisfaction, product innovation, and customer retention.
  • Provide flexibility to deliver in the new remote work environment: The COVID-19 pandemic has forever altered the formula for on-premise and work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, and the ability to deliver all manner of products and services virtually will be critical going forward. 

Finding New Uses for Winning Solutions

The inventor of Coca-Cola didn’t set out to create the largest, most iconic brand in the world, but that’s the way it turned out — just as it did for the inventors of the Slinky and Rogaine. Here’s the simple truth: a good idea is worth reusing, and this equally applies to the underlying technologies and services that make up the VCC. From higher education to departments of corrections and even internal corporate career development, a solution exists that can radically transform existing programs and deliver outstanding results well into the future.

Maven Wave helps the public sector make the most out of modern tools and technologies. Download our white paper to discover how Maven Wave leveraged the power of the cloud to develop a Virtual Career Center (VCC) built on Google Cloud to assist states like Rhode Island with pandemic recovery.


About the Author

Chuck Mackie
Chuck Mackie is a consultant with Maven Wave focusing on creating cutting-edge content and thought leadership articles in the areas of financial services, healthcare, and technology. He joined Maven Wave in 2010 and prior work experiences include stints at IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), Trading Technologies, and the CME Group. He has a Masters degree in marketing from Kellogg/Northwestern and a BA in Economics and Humanities from Coe College.
August 12th, 2021

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