Put yourself in the shoes of a young adult. What does it mean to be ready to work? What does it mean to be human? These are questions that MHA Labs (Means and Measures of Human Achievement) was built upon. MHA Labs is a nonprofit innovation firm that focuses on unlocking the potential of young people and building future opportunity for them. The firm came together with the City of Chicago and knew they needed statistical tools and resources to help reframe the conception (or misconception) of young people in a way that was an asset and not a liability to current and future employers.
MHA has been managing survey and performance data for internships and programs like One Summer Chicago (OSC) for over 5 years. From these programs, they collect data from the kids, their mentors, and their employers and use the reports to show the value of hiring said youth. This time around, however, MHA decided to greatly augment the tools they’d use to do so. Enter Cloudbakers.
It didn’t take long for MHA to explain to Cloudbakers what they were looking for. Automation, speed, scalability, and a continued opportunity to make an impact. Once they had a solid understanding of the type of survey and reporting tool that MHA Labs was in need of, the Bakers developed the platform using the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
The finished product, named Working Impact, drastically improves the employment feedback procedures at the conclusion of the summer internships. Instead of using Survey Monkey and Excel, MHA was employing a completely automated platform that saved an immense amount of time and money. Managers that didn’t have a simple enough way to record the job details and reviews of their employees could now easily do so with an integrated, real-time reporting tool that will directly affect the way youth and young people are portrayed in our community.
Within the tool, the Task App that is included in the employers & supervisors survey allows managers to list a few of the responsibilities their employees performed. The tool will then produce a few job titles to choose from. When selecting a specific role, professional descriptions will populate the survey fields.
The data developed through this process can be given to future employers, making the surveys much more meaningful for young individuals.
On a city agency level, the data collected in Working Impact allows for social changes to be made at scale, and the city itself has access to deep snapshots based on reports that pull from actual individual experiences. It’s important to note that other tools like this consist of spreadsheets without any ability to truly analyze high quality data. This makes the information far less actionable and far more time consuming; Prior to Working Impact, reports would take weeks to analyze and create. Now these reports take minutes.
This platform is changing the lives of young people by aggregating assets that lead to positive opportunities for them. There are 6 city-level agencies using this platform, supported by an additional 62 contracted community organizations. From the over 25,000 summer job opportunities created by OCS, this application should be able to transform these jobs into significant steps towards lifetime careers. Cloudbakers is honored to be a part of this project.