the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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Vice President Biden: Use Open Data and Innovation to Help Americans Find Jobs

Summary: 
To help job seekers, employers, and local policy makers better navigate labor market information, the Vice President and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) are issuing a call-to-action to improve the tools and services for Americans to more seamlessly access and navigate the job market. On June 25th, 2014, more than 65 public and private sector innovators came together at the White House for the 21st Century Jobs Data Jam, a day-long workshop convened by the Office of the Vice President, OSTP, and the Departments of Labor and Commerce.
VP and Perez at

Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez attend the White House "Data Jam" in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, June 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Americans searching for good middle-class jobs struggle with a paradox: despite plenty of information available about the labor market, it can be challenging to get simple, useful answers to questions such as:

  • What jobs are in demand, and which ones will be in demand in the future?
  • What current job openings exist?
  • What is the best way to get training and “skill up” into a better paying position?

To help job seekers, employers, and local policy makers better navigate labor market information, the Vice President and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) are issuing a call-to-action to improve the tools and services for Americans to more seamlessly access and navigate the job market.

So, on June 25th, 2014, more than 65 public and private sector innovators came together at the White House for the 21st Century Jobs Data Jam, a day-long workshop convened by the Office of the Vice President, OSTP, and the Departments of Labor and Commerce. 

During the morning session, Vice President Joe Biden joined the technology leaders, design and user experience experts, and leading policymakers to challenge them to think about these problem at person-by-person level: how do we help real people find real jobs. 

Joined by Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, the Vice President highlighted the promise of user-friendly tools being able to better help job seekers navigate the complex, and often overwhelming, choices they face as they try to make major decisions about their careers. 

VP and Perez at

Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez attend the White House "Data Jam" in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, June 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Inspired by the brainstorming and the fueled by open government data resources, participants committed to take action right away to develop new or expanded websites, products, or tools for job seekers.  Participant commitments included:

  • Develop new tools to allow job seekers to make better informed decisions about what jobs are in demand now, which jobs are likely to grow in the future, how much they pay, and where they are located. 
  • Develop ways to help job seekers better understand their current skills, what alternative career options may be a good fit, and how best to access impactful training to “skill up” into a higher wage position or make a career change. 
  • Begin a conversation about creating open data standards for job postings, skills, and credentialing to help enable better data analytics and more effective job matches, and then incentivizing key players to commit to that standard.

The challenge to build innovative tools and services, for potential demonstration, is open to everyone.  Information about the data sets presented at the Data Jam is available here. Want to get involved? Email us at Skills@ovp.eop.gov.

 

Lynn Overmann is Senior Advisor to the United States Chief Technology Officer and Marc Aidinoff is Assistant Director for Policy in the Office of the Vice President