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THE TOOLS

Nepris: Virtually Building Connections Between Job Seekers and Careers

Job seekers find it increasingly difficult to keep up with ever-evolving job types, the right social networks, and the skill requirements of the labor market. Nepris is a web-based platform that allows job seekers and learners to connect to industry experts through live, virtual interactions, providing real-time industry connections and career exploration (as well as a growing library of on-demand recorded sessions). We believe that Nepris can positively impact adult learning and career development in community college and workforce development environments. In field testing Nepris, here’s what we learned:

Key Learnings:

  • Learners said that Nepris provided access to knowledge about jobs and industry sectors that would otherwise not be possible to have and was extremely valuable: For some, it is the first time they are able to have a direct conversation with someone in the line of work into which they would like to shift.
  • In some cases, the use of Nepris built personal connections that led to actual employment: Students who learned about the use of drafting and design by a naval architect went on to gain employment with the presenter.
  • Workforce centers view Nepris as a valuable addition to their tool kit: Workforce boards and adult education organizations can use Nepris to offer job seekers live opportunities to connect with employers for virtual workplace experiences, mentorship, apprenticeships, resume preparation, mock interviews, and other career-focused functions. Job counselors said it was a valuable time saver—they couldn’t accomplish the networking to physically bring in industry contacts to share the information.
  • Career exploration shouldn’t be limited to K-12 classrooms: Adults need ways to more deeply explore careers too (with the affordance of personal connections).
  • Nepris provides valuable access to knowledge for adults working to reinvent their careers: It connects learners with industry experts who can answer candid questions about industry skills requirements, the job market, and job satisfaction.
  • The Career Explorer video library is good for adult learners and job seekers who are truly in the exploratory phase of a career search: Nepris helps learners aspire toward career pathways. This library of 7000+ videos is now tied to Department of Labor O’NET data and provides career self-exploration opportunities for all learners and job seekers.

Field Testing Nepris:

For field testing, Louisiana’s Northshore Technical Community College used Nepris’ live industry chats to connect students in the Drafting and Design Technology (D&DT) program with professionals who use drafting in their naval architecture and electrical engineering work. C2 Global, a contractor that supports workforce development boards, used Nepris’ live industry chats to show job seekers information about local in-demand jobs. C2 Global’s Alamo Workforce Solutions used Career Explorer with Texas-based clients.

How We Know That It Works:

  • Learner feedback: Learners described how they valued personal stories from industry experts.
  • Jobs: Job seekers participating in the field testing made real connections that led to employment.
  • Job counselors continue to use it: They believe that it makes it easier to connect clients to potential career pathways.

Why it Works for Working Adult Learners:

Personal connections
Nepris features real people and gives job seekers real contacts, including access to and live chats with industry leaders.

Relevant and rich content
The rich video library, jobs database, O’NET data, and synchronous conversations make career exploration highly relevant.

Diverse professionals
With 25,985 professionals represented on the platform, learners and job seekers are able to see themselves in a variety of professions.

Accessibility
With an online presence in all 50 states, Nepris is uniquely valuable for learners in more remote locations lacking access to multiple industries.

Field Testing Partners

  • C2 Global (Florida and Texas)
  • Alamo Workforce Solutions
  • Northshore Technical Community College

Field Testers:

  • Clients at America’s Job Centers across Texas and Florida
  • 20 students in Northshore Technical Community College’s Drafting and Design Technology (D&DT) program

“For job seekers who have only worked in one industry, we can let them explore other options and what is out there, learn about education requirements, what the pay can be. They may want to be a medical assistant but they don’t know what goes into it. In the videos, they describe what they do on a daily basis, and share how they got there—including the education they needed.”

Jessica

Job Counselor, Alamo Workforce

“We are proud to partner with Nepris for a pilot program that offers our Drafting and Design Technology students an opportunity to learn from industry experts. Having access to learn from a wealth of professionals in the field of drafting is an enormous advantage for our students.”

Jim Carlson

Vice Chancellor of Strategic Initiatives, Northshore Technical Community College

Nepris Stories:

Joel, Alamo Workforce Solutions, San Antonio

Joel is a construction worker who was at the workforce center to get support for a transition to work in information technology. Because he was hoping to move into a new field, he was excited about the information that was available in Nepris, especially the personalized nature of the industry chat videos. “It felt like a personal invitation; like they were serious about me. This spurred interest for me in careers and industry that I hadn’t thought about before.”

 

 

Viorel Florea, a drafting instructor at Northshore Technical Community College

Viorel booked live Nepris chats for his classes aligned to curriculum and the job market in the area—including a chat with a naval architect. “The expert was fascinating, which made my students in awe of the profession. We don’t teach ship building, but some of the students said maybe they needed to look at the field. After the industry chat, I had a student apply and be hired as a naval drafter.”

Job Counselors:

Job counselors participating in the field testing used Nepris in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Helping a client who was an accountant better understand and start a new career in sales
  • Connecting a client personally inspired by an industry chat on information technology with the CEO who led the chat Using Nepris recorded videos in a weekly “Career Maps” workshop to highlight interesting aspects of in-demand jobs in the San Antonio area
  • Using Nepris videos to bring to life opportunities featured at a healthcare jobs fair at the workforce center

  Report:  Leveraging Technology to Increase Opportunity and Economic Security for Adults

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