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Putting Skills First With Youth Apprenticeship

March 11, 2024

At a Glance

Meet the JFFLabs Youth Skills-First Entrepreneurs-In-Residence Cohort 

Practices & Centers

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing job market, access to quality jobs is essential for the success and well-being of learners and workers. However, many people face systemic barriers to securing jobs with good pay and benefits, flexibility, autonomy, stability, and the advancement opportunities that are essential for people to thrive.  

Recognizing this challenge, the JFFLabs Youth Skills-First Entrepreneurs-In-Residence Cohort is dedicated to addressing these barriers by supporting skills-based talent strategies anchored in youth apprenticeship for individuals primarily between the ages of 16-21.  

Through their collective solutions, these mission-driven entrepreneurs and startups are empowering youth and contributing to the elimination of barriers that hinder access to quality jobs. 

Keegan Moldenhauer — Internship on Demand

Internship on Demand addresses the early career mismatch that often leads to high turnover rates and limited opportunities for young individuals. By facilitating direct connections between candidates and employers, Moldenhauer’s platform enables job seekers to explore career, company, and role fit at the earliest stages of their education-to-career pathway.

Venki Mandapati — UpSquad

UpSquad streamlines and enhances apprenticeship programs, connecting youth job seekers with employers efficiently. By addressing challenges such as the lack of customizable solutions and difficulties in measuring impact, Mandapati’s platform empowers organizations to optimize their apprenticeship programs effectively, thereby providing young individuals with valuable skills and opportunities.

Chinedu Echeruo — Talented Youth Academy

Talented Youth Academy leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to connect young people who are underserved by their communities yet highly skilled with apprenticeships in various industries. By bridging the gap between young talent and the need for skilled labor, Echeruo’s platform facilitates economic advancement through apprenticeships.

Dennis Johnson — The Application

The Application is committed to offering a wide range of academic and career resources, including apprenticeships, to students ages 17-21. By scaling apprenticeship efforts and accelerating dual enrollment programs across the country, Johnson ensures young individuals have the resources and opportunities needed to succeed in their careers.

Brianna Brazle — CultureLancer

CultureLancer connects college students with opportunities in data analytics and business intelligence through skills-first hiring and work-based learning. By prioritizing skills training and real-world experience, Brazle’s platform equips students with competencies valued by employers, thereby setting them up for success in their careers.

Tina Zwolinski — Skillsgapp

Skillsgapp offers an accelerated, scalable workforce initiative that connects youth aged 16-21 with meaningful, skills-based careers through mobile career games. By providing opportunities for career exploration and connecting youth with opportunities in high-demand industries, Zwolinski’s platform ensures that young individuals have access to quality jobs regardless of their background or circumstances.

The solutions offered by the JFFLabs Youth Skills First Entrepreneurs-In-Residence Cohort collectively contribute to reducing systemic barriers to accessing quality jobs for young individuals. By empowering youth with valuable skills and opportunities through skills-based talent strategies anchored in youth apprenticeship, these mission-driven entrepreneurs and startups are paving the way for a future where all young people have equal access to meaningful employment opportunities. 

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