SOURCE: Viridis

March 18, 2014 09:00 ET

Politicians, Business Leaders and Non-Profits Align With Viridis to Reinvent Online Education and Job Placement for the Middle-Skilled

NEW YORK,NY--(Marketwired - March 18, 2014) - Viridis Learning, an online platform that merges human capital technology with education technology for training and placing the middle-skill workforce, launched its new online experience today. The company boasts an impressive Board of Directors, including Retired U.S. Army Chief Of Staff George W. Casey Jr., and an advisory board including Former President of Costa Rica and Managing Director of The World Economic Forum Jose Maria Figueres, as well as corporate and community organization partnerships including Comcast, the Coca-Cola Company, UPS Inc., Long Beach Community College, Miami Dade Community College and YouthBuild USA.

In addition, Viridis has received an investment from Comcast Ventures. "Viridis Learning piqued our interest because it offers solutions to real world problems. These solutions are the offspring of innovation, creativity and ambition applied with intent and passion to make the lives of others better," said William Crowder, lead investor for the Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund.

A Technology Solution for the Middle-Skill Workforce

When Viridis Learning Founder, Chairman and CEO, Felix W. Ortiz III, was finishing his work with the Obama advisory group transition team in 2008, he saw the void of end-to-end solutions for employers and job seekers matching skills by industry and sector. "This is where the idea of Viridis was born," he said. "I envisioned a tool for the middle-skilled, workers in the trade and services industry, that could help them get the right training to advance in their career and then place them in available positions."

With today's launch of the new Viridis Learning platform at, that vision has become a reality. Leveraging exclusive education content from sources such as industry trade associations and internal corporate training programs, the first step of the Viridis experience is to help users access the courses they need. Next, using unique algorithms that analyze each candidate's capabilities in areas such as knowledge, company culture, work ethics and personality, Viridis will match each user with available positions among its many global and local corporate employer partners based on their employability score.

Viridis Learning Partners

Viridis Learnings' partners include a network of U.S. community colleges and youth and workforce organizations that help generate a user base for the online system. In addition, the company has brought on corporate partners that leverage Viridis to find well-vetted and trained candidates for open positions. This relationship will enable partners such as YouthBuild USA, Long Beach Community College and Comcast to use the system in its development phases.

"Providing YouthBuild students the opportunity to use the Viridis system as an essential solution for training and employment has had promising early success," said Scott Emerick, Vice President of Education, YouthBuild USA.

To date, all users of the Viridis system have collectively achieved a 70 percent placement rate and a 65 percent retention rate.

"We believe the Viridis Learning system will complement our workforce and continuing education programs in helping our students know where they will be best positioned for success," said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, President of Long Beach Community College. "It will help us maximize our offerings and even become a human capital resource for local businesses."

Other global employer partners include UPS, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company and Hyatt while Viridis also works with regional companies including Ted's Montana Grill, New York-based Juice Press.

In addition, Viridis Learning has gathered a high-profile board of directors and advisors including Mr. Emmerick and General Casey as well as former Education Secretary William Bennett, former Governor Bill Richardson, Former Senator Bill Bradley, Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada, Current Director of Starbucks, Former Executive Vice President of Partner Resources of Starbucks Corp, & Former Chief Personnel Officer of Taco Bell/ KFC, Olden Lee, and a host of additional political, corporate and non-profit leaders.

"I'm proud to serve on the Board of Directors for Viridis Learning," said General Casey. "I believe the Viridis system will be a way forward for both the middle-skilled workforce and Americas businesses, and it can be especially useful in helping Veterans get the skills they need to find productive employment."

Viridis Leadership

Viridis Learning was founded by Mr. Ortiz on his couch in Brooklyn, NY. Ortiz a Sunset Park, Brooklyn native and son of New York State Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz Jr. Ortiz served in the U.S. Army 18th Airborne Corps and JAG Corps, before attending St. John's University and its ROTC Army program. Ortiz has also served as a member of New York City Mayor DeBlasio's Technology Subcommittee Transition Team as well as President Elect Obama's Advisory Group Transition Team for International Trade & Economics.

Jake Bullock recently joined Viridis Learning as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Bullock, a former Navy SEAL who attended Columbia University, came from another New York City start up where he was Vice President of Operations.

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