The Employment Technology Fund (ETF) was launched in 2017 through the joint efforts of the Walmart, Joyce, Kellogg, and Rockefeller Foundations to advance economic mobility for lower-skilled, low-wage workers through targeted investments in the development of technology tools for education, training, and employment.
To be effective, the ETF’s product selection and investment process needs to be informed by the perspective of on-the- ground practitioners across multiple contexts as well as the low-income adults they serve. Developers of products for learning and training, skills assessment, mentoring and career planning, and job search and placement often don’t fully understand lower skilled adults’ learning and employment challenges. They also may not recognize the potential their technologies might possess to mitigate these challenges or have a grasp of best practices for designing or adapting technology tools to serve a less-skilled demographic.
Through funding from Walmart, the EdTech Center @ World Education ensures maximum impact for the ETF investments through three main strategies:
● advising developers of ETF-funded tools on tool adaptations,
● field testing the tools to identify the most promising tools and practices, and
● broadly disseminating effective employment technology products and practices.
The dissemination plan informs the practice of employers, adult education, and workforce providers. It includes national webinars, online conversations, conference presentations, articles and blogs, and the creation of a searchable, online Employment Technology Tool Resource Center repository for the vetted tools and promising practices.