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Guest Blog: The Department of Labor’s “Tools for America’s Jobseekers” Challenge

December 8th, 2009 by Jane Oates

By Jane Oates

Assistant Secretary

Employment and Training Administration

U.S. Department of Labor




In today’s labor market, more and more people search and apply for jobs online. The National Broadband Taskforce at the FCC is developing a plan to ensure that all Americans will have access to broadband so they can take advantage of these online job training and placement resources. The U.S. Department of Labor is also taking steps to get more online job search and career advancement tools into the hands of job seekers. To that end, the Department’s Employment and Training Administration is hosting the Tools for America’s Job Seekers Challenge. The Challenge makes use of an innovative crowdsourcing platform to inventory online job search and career advancement tools, and allow workforce system professionals and jobseekers to explore, comment on, and recommend those tools.   The goal of the Challenge is to help the workforce investment system identify the most compelling on-line tools to set job seekers on the shortest path to success.
FromNovember 30, 2009 to December 18, 2009, ETA encourages entrepreneurs and organizations to help develop an inventory of on-line job search and career advancement tools by submitting information on their tools at Technology vendors, platform providers, businesses, nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurs, state and local workforce agencies, and others with job search tools in the marketplace are invited to participate.   DOL is seeking online job tools in the following categories: 
  • General job boards, listing sites, and aggregators
  • Niche job boards
  • Career tools such as ladders, transition tools, etc.
  • Web based career exploration sites
  • Web 2.0/social media sites specializing in job searches or job postings
  • Other job matching and career advancement tools
Although DOL is primarily interested in identifying tools that are free for the use of America’s jobseekers, tools with a fee may be submitted as long as the submitting company provides a short-term demo site or other platform that allows the tools to be used free of charge during the Challenge. After the Challenge has been completed, the workforce development system and job seekers can pursue a procurement or an agreement to license such tools. If your enterprise has a free “basic” website, and a subscription-only “premium” site, the free site may be entered in the Challenge. This may provide more exposure of your subscription service to the market.
From January 4 to January 15, 2010, workforce development professionals and job seekers are invited to test-drive the tools and recommend those they find useful. Beginning at the end of January, DOL and ETA will publish the top tools in each category, allowing workforce system decision-makers to easily access the recommendations of their peers and customers, and use this feedback to inform their decisions about which tools to make available through One Stop Career Centers, state job banks, and other Internet-based resources. For more information about the national network of One Stop Career Centers, please visit


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Datamatrix and QR FCC Phones