KentuckianaWorks

A data-driven approach to workforce development.

Project Summary.

KentuckianaWorks is the workforce development arm for the City of Louisville, the 17th-largest city in the U.S. and a top-50 media market. Committed to helping the public navigate the demands of a 21st-century labor market, KentuckianaWorks partnered with The C2 Group on a career-focused application that better informs the public on educational choices and career opportunities. This "Career Calculator" application was the centerpiece of a workforce development initiative resulting in Louisville’s awarding of a 2016 U.S. Conference of Mayors National Pathways with a Purpose Award and a $100,000 grant.

The Challenge.

Labor market data is crucial to public’s ability to make informed education and career choices. Data on its own, however, can be difficult to understand and limited in scope to state or national levels. With a lack of existing tools and platforms for finding this information and displaying it in a meaningful way, the Career Calculator allows users to search by occupation, income, and field of study using localized datasets.

The Career Calculator is designed for a wide range of users: high school graduates, college students, educators, career counselors, workforce development professionals, and adults considering career changes. By providing user-friendly, easy-to-understand visualizations for occupation, income, and educational data, the Career Calculator works to help connect job-seekers to the right career and educational opportunities. This, in turn, helps connect employers to the right candidates, informs educators on skills gaps, and creates a better community through workforce development – where good jobs leading to family-sustaining wages, which then support the next generation of learners and job-seekers.

The Solution.

Leveraging data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, O*NET Web Services, and the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, the Career Calculator is fed from JavaScript feeds and spreadsheet uploads. On a search for a given occupation, the Career Calculator surfaces wage trends, number of current local openings, historical and future growth forecasts, and educational requirements. For a specific major, the application displays the number of local graduates, the top careers among those graduates, and local institutions offering the particular major or field of study. Searching by income produces the top careers within a $2,500 range, and the majors held by residents earning the desired search amount. Each search is easily saved for future reference.

Custom RESTful web service APIs allow for a lightweight, highly scalable, and easily maintained web application. Each component of the application was built using decoupled, auto-scaling services, reducing the cost of ownership by eliminating the need for server management while providing a faster, more responsive, and richer user experience without having to monitor or provision a fixed number of servers.

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