10 Qualified Teams Selected in $5M XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling Competition

Mar 08 2021

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10 Qualified Teams from 4 countries advance in New Profit-sponsored competition, competing for a $1.5M grand prize; Teams competing in next round will develop solutions to place participants into full-time jobs

LOS ANGELES (March 8, 2021) -- XPRIZE, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, sponsored by nonprofit venture philanthropy organization New Profit and in partnership with JFF, today announced that 10 teams from 4 countries are advancing to the Qualified Teams round of the $5M XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition.

Launched in June 2020, XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling incentivizes teams to develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of rapid training and reskilling solutions for individuals most vulnerable to employment loss in the United States. The solutions developed in this competition will reduce training time by at least 50% for occupations with a living wage and will be provided at no cost to the individual. 

“As we saw unemployment reach new heights and some jobs completely eliminated as automation accelerated during the pandemic, the XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition became critical in providing pathways to gainful long-term employment,” said XPRIZE CEO Anousheh Ansari. “I am energized by the number of great teams who entered the competition and thrilled to announce the Qualified Teams who will go on to compete for the grand prize. We invited stakeholders to reimagine the entire work process, focus on those with low wage jobs who are at higher risk of losing their livelihood and provide a pathway to the growing segment of the job market. Alongside New Profit, we’re proud to invest in the American labor market and better prepare workers for the digital revolution.”

Training solutions will be offered to 3,500 displaced workers early in the competition and then be expanded to help at least 25,000 displaced workers in the Finals Round. The best solutions, if adopted on a nation-wide scale, have the potential to transform the way workers train for more than 12 million jobs.

“XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling will create a future where all workers can rapidly attain new and more relevant skills to equal the pace of technological developments,” Dr. Monique Golden, Social Science Lead for XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling. “We’re looking forward to evaluating the impact of the solutions seeking to transform how we train and educate America’s workers.”  

Qualified Teams were selected among 118 teams from 20 countries following an independent judging panel’s assessment of the teams’ choice of occupation, viability of proposed solution and methods of worker engagement. The 10 chosen Qualified Teams will be evenly splitting a Milestone Prize purse of $1,000,000. 

"New Profit is proud to power XPRIZE's initiative to rapidly train and place workers into higher-wage, higher-skill jobs," said Dr. Angela Jackson, Managing Partner at New Profit. "Together, we are rebuilding an economy that puts equity at the core – centering the voices of under-invested workers and diverse innovators in every stage of the challenge design."

The 10 Qualified Teams are:

Qualified Teams will have approximately two months for solution development. During this time, teams will develop their novel technological solutions, create platforms, develop training curricula, and prepare themselves for the first phase of testing. 

A $1,500,000 Grand Prize will be awarded to the most innovative and practical solution that offers an unprecedented pace of training, limits cost barriers on vulnerable populations, and helps individuals in this current economic crisis and beyond. Two Runner Up Award winners will split $500,000. 

XPRIZE and New Profit have also collaborated to appoint a panel of subject matter experts, employers and big-picture thought leaders to serve as the Advisory Board for XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling. The Advisory Board will remain in place throughout the competition to make connections, assist with strategic guidance, amplify the prize, and offer innovative advice.

Please see below for the XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling Advisory Board members:

  • Dr. Chris Laney, Senior Workforce Strategist, Emsi 
  • Jomayra Herrera, Principal, Cowboy Ventures
  • Andre Green, Executive Director, Skillworks, The Boston Foundation
  • Janice Urbanik, Sr. Director of Innovation and Strategy, National Fund for Workforce Solutions
  • Katherine McKinney, Deputy Director, Workforce, JVS-SoCal
  • Jeff Wald, Founder, WorkMarket
  • Vinice Davis, Venture Partner, Imaginable Futures
  • Karan Chopra, Co-Founder, [email protected]
  • Lisa Neuberger Fernandez, Managing Director, Strategy and Innovation, Corporate Citizenship, Accenture

Additionally, in partnership with JFF, we’re leading engagement with the American workforce system by focusing on creating pilots of winning solutions with workers, evaluating them for effectiveness, and scaling them through partnerships with future-focused workforce boards. Our six workforce board partners were chosen from hundreds nationwide for their reputation in effectiveness and innovation. Learn more about them below: 

XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling is powered by New Profit and JFF as part of the Future of Work Grand Challenge, which aims to achieve broader systemic change to help prepare 12 million Americans from underinvested communities for workforce success by 2025. The Grand Challenge is made possible by lead funders, Walmart and Strada Education Network. Additional funding is provided by Accenture, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Comcast NBCUniversal, Imaginable Futures, the Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Lumina Impact Ventures, Morgridge Family Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Siegel Family Endowment, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The initiative also brings together a consortium of design and operating partners driving positive change in workforce development including Accenture, Brandeis University, Education Design Lab, Goodwill Industries International, and Jobcase.

For more information on the competition guidelines, advisory board, sponsors and partners, judging panel and more, visit rapidreskilling.xprize.org.

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About XPRIZE

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal, $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, $15 Million XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, $10 Million XPRIZE Rainforest, $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, $6 Million XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing, $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, and $500K Pandemic Response Challenge. For more information, visit xprize.org.

ABOUT NEW PROFIT

New Profit is a nonprofit venture philanthropy organization that backs breakthrough social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. New Profit's investment strategy focuses on building a breakthrough portfolio to take on entrenched systemic challenges in America, particularly by driving resources and support to Black, Indigenous, and Latino/a/x social entrepreneurs who have unique proximity to solutions, but face stark racial funding disparities in philanthropy; investing in social entrepreneurs with new systems change models across a range of issues; and creating jobs and opportunity by funding Future of Work innovation.

ABOUT JFF

JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For more than 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. Join us as we build a future that works. www.jff.org