February 6, 2017 - For Immediate Release
Innovate+Educate, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Contact: Stephen Yadzinski, Chief Technology Officer, Innovate+Educate - (505) 699-7184

Innovate + Educate is one of five National Retail Challenge award recipients.

SANTA FE, NM - Today, The Hope Street Group announced Innovate+Educate (I+E) is one of five National Retail Challenge award recipients. The National Retail Challenge, made possible with funding granted by Walmart to ACT Foundation, recognizes the need to reengineer the workforce–spanning the training, hiring, and promotion process–to support a rapidly evolving employment marketplace.

Awarding a total of $150,000 to the top five organizations, the winners of the National Retail Challenge each submitted a plan that outlines the development and promotion of a technology platform with a commitment to promoting competency-based career pathways driven by a cross-sector competency model for working learners, learning providers, and employers. I+E received $20,000 to further their efforts and to develop and promote their SEEK platform that address these needs. 

SEEK, first launched in late 2016, lets users explore careers based on their experience, education, interests, and skills developed not only from formal work and educational functions, but also from hobbies and other activities. Visit SEEK at http://worklearn.live

Through SEEK, working learners can mine their occupational passions, making more informed career choices by getting a true perspective on what they are capable of. The tool lets talented workers assess possibilities that exist in the present and imagine a future where they are working everyday using skills they love to constantly improve.

“When we first started building SEEK, we set out to create something similar to the Google maps of career exploration,” Stephen Yadzinski, CTO of Innovate+Educate explains. “We wanted to make it visual and relevant to the experiences people have today so that the career options they find resonate with them.”

I+E believes enabling technologies are critical to supporting multiple pathways where talent have increased access to quality training and career opportunities, resulting in sustained economic mobility and security for their families and communities. Simultaneously, technologies like SEEK help employers experience increased ROI through identification and promotion of a more diverse and better trained workforce, creating greater value for both themselves and the American economy. 

The funds from the National Retail Challenge will be used to further develop the national SEEK platform, as well as to support a national marketing campaign. Visit SEEK at http://worklearn.live


About Hope Street Group:
Hope Street Group is a national organization that works to ensure every American will have access to tools and options leading to economic opportunity and prosperity. 

Since 2015, as a part of their larger Sync Our Signals (SOS) initiative, Hope Street Group has been managing the Walmart Foundation Retail Community of Practice (CoP). The CoP is part of Walmart and Walmart Foundation’s Opportunity initiative, a $100 million commitment to help increase the economic mobility of entry level workers in the retail sector. To maximize and stimulate opportunities for enhanced impact across the initiative, the CoP serves as a trusted space where workforce practitioners, service providers and subject matter experts can connect to strengthen their knowledge, expertise and coordination in preparing retail workers for career growth and advancement. For more information, visit: www.hopestreetgroup.org.

About Innovate+Educate:  
I+E is national nonprofit founded in 2009 in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a focus on industry driven solutions to education and employment. Today, Innovate+Educate has satellite sites in Albuquerque, Dallas, Denver, and Washington, DC. Their vision is to create multiple pathways to employment based on competencies and skills. The work of I+E spans across implementation, assessment, and employment technologies. For more information. For more information, visit: www.innovate-educate.org