SOURCE: Veterans Talent

September 18, 2014 12:00 ET

Tech Coalition Debuts Web Experience to Analyze Veteran Employment Opportunities

Big Data Mapping Tool Highlights the Skills Possessed by More Than 600,000 Veterans and the Skills Employers Need

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Sep 18, 2014) - Today, a coalition of leading innovators across the public and private sectors, sponsored by the Duffield Family Foundation, and including Workday, Hunch Analytics, LinkedIn, Monster.com, Mic, PayScale, Glassdoor, and Esri, launched a website to aid in the fight against unemployment amongst returning veterans. Veterans Talent: An Open Data Collaboration, available at www.veteranstalent.io, presents a one-of-a-kind national map of the skills of veterans, the skills sought after by employers looking to hire veterans, and early insights from leading economists on the implications for workforce development.

Using newly-released public sector data, as well as additional datasets and technology donated from academic institutions and leading technology firms, Veterans Talent represents a data-driven approach for workforce developers looking to support America's returning heroes.

Veterans Talent is an open data project built in response to a White House call to action at a February 2014 Veterans Jobs and Skills open data roundtable. Sponsored by The Duffield Family Foundation, a team of veteran advocates and technologists worked to develop this proof-of-concept, led by Aneesh Chopra, former United States Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Hunch Analytics, and Leighanne Levensaler, Vice President of Human Capital Management Products at Workday, the leader in enterprise-class, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions for managing global businesses.

Veterans Talent visualizes the skills associated with unemployed veterans mapped against the skills associated with job postings from employers who have made a veteran hiring commitment. Produced by Chris Walker of Mic, a leading news and media company for young people, the interactive maps featured on the Veterans Talent website allow a user to toggle between data sets and quickly compare and contrast the supply and demand of veterans' skills at a county level.

"There is a great deal of goodwill towards addressing the still-too-high levels of veteran unemployment," said Aneesh Chopra. "I'm thankful for the coalition who voluntarily shared proprietary data, which, when combined with open government data, has just begun to yield some novel insights on the challenges confronting job-seeking veterans."

"I wanted to be involved in this project because I knew the innovative people, ideas, and technology behind this project would lead to a world-class resource for our veterans," said Dave Duffield, co-founder and chairman of Workday, Inc. "Our veterans have so many special skills and talents to contribute to our nation's employers. I'm very proud of both the outcome and all the organizations that collaborated on behalf of our heroes."

"The pool of returning service people is full of diverse and talented individuals who find it difficult to translate their skills, experience and competencies into the language of business. It proves frustrating because so many American employers are committed to hiring our heroes, yet have trouble executing on this promise and continue to struggle in finding enough qualified workers to stay competitive," said Leighanne Levensaler, vice president of human capital management products, Workday. "We believe there is an opportunity to bridge this skills gap by applying the best of American ingenuity to this vexing problem. Veterans Talent harnesses the power of modern data harvesting and analysis techniques to bring greater transparency to the largely untapped talent pool of veterans."

"The abruptness of the veterans transition process, coupled with America's civil-military divide, makes it difficult to visualize and understand the employment situation of veterans," said Phil Carter, Senior Fellow, Counsel and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. "The same gap frustrates veterans as they cross the divide and look for work in the civilian sector. Data enables all sides to see the veterans employment situation more clearly. This project leverages data to better illuminate the job opportunities for veterans in the communities they come home to, and in doing so, helps bridge the civil-military divide, one veteran job at a time."

Veterans Talent, available at www.veteranstalent.io, has a variety of features to highlight this data, including:

  • A video detailing the importance of building a smarter workforce system for our veterans
  • A series of interactive maps showcasing a comprehensive view of veterans' skills and the skills requested in most job openings aggregated to the county level across the country
  • A series of blog posts from leading economists and other stakeholders revealing early insights on veterans and economic mobility; underemployment trends; and the degree to which certain skilled veterans without certified technology experience might fill growing jobs in the technology sector
  • A white paper entitled, "5 Policies for Improving Data Use to Accelerate Veteran Employment" published by the Center for American Progress

Veterans Talent: An Open Data Collaboration is sponsored by the Duffield Family Foundation and produced with the help of Hunch Analytics. We are proud to present this information experience in support of veterans around the country.

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