Are 100 days enough?

We’re thinking of challenging teams competing in a Rapid-Response Workforce XPRIZE to develop and deploy a scalable solution to train 100 low-skilled individuals in 100 days for no more than $100 each.

Are 100 days enough?

    For training entry level For a high-skill occupation To find a workplace To check retention in the job

I appreciate the agility with which you are shifting priorities and asking new questions in the current climate. If the goal is to advance the skills and economic opportunity for those working in low-wage jobs, then I am quite sure that 100 days is not sufficient to see real change. These are people who are/would be already working in low wage, low quality jobs in retail, hospitality, food service and could transition into other low wage entry level jobs as they come on line. So the training needed to move into jobs with higher pay and opportunities for advancement will require longer term training. I hope you’ll continue to think about the ideas shared about incentivizing employers to create high-road/high-quality jobs. It’s been interesting to see the grocery chains that have increased wages for cashiers, stockers, now that they are deemed “essential”. They will remain essential, despite the level of skill required for the job.

Absolutely! The goal is still to get people into higher-quality, more fulfilling jobs.

@B_Smith, @AlexandraW, @danny, it would be great to have your feedback on this as well!

Hi @Sandy! Great to see you here in the community! I was wondering if you know of any state-of-the-art programs or start-ups working on rapid re-skilling? The 100 day benchmark is notional at this point. We are hearing of orgs that can get people into better jobs around the 100 day mark so our goal is that whatever solutions emerge from the competition would demonstrate that it is possible to acquire skills and training needed to attain gainful work in a short period of time at a low cost.

I’ll give your question some thought, Bryan. Needless to say, the ability to meet the 100-day target depends entirely on the education and skill level of the learner-worker participants and the definition of “better job”.

In the latest version of our prize design, teams that qualify to participate in the competition would need to:

  • Recruit and train at least 1,000 individuals in 100 days.
  • Cut the training time in half compared to the currently established training time for their chosen profession.
  • Place retrained workers in a job for at least 100 days.

Per Bryan’s question, we’re interested in learning about any program, company, organization, or school that currently retrains workers in a similar timeframe - in order to determine if 100 days strikes the right balance between audacious and achievable.

@tmiller, @antnar, @rkadel42, @hjohnson, can you think of any examples?

@mannyluong, @markrembert, @Bart, you may also have an opinion on whether retraining and up-skilling workers in 100 days is feasible - but ambitious.

Also, if you know any examples of rapid up-skilling, we’d love to hear them!


@Sandy - Thank you so much for your engagement here!

If we are considering training for jobs with higher pay & opportunities for advancement, what would you say should be the MINIMUM training time allotted?

Do you have any sense of what the standard training time would be for these types of jobs?

We’ve been doing a lot of research on this, but it’s challenging to find a baseline for training since the occupational types vary so much. If we found the baseline, we’d, of course, want to meet it (or beat it!) :slight_smile:

@katherinekeegan, @lmetcalf, @H_Kay_Howard, you may also have insight on @HeatherSutton’s question: What would you say is the minimum training time needed for jobs with higher pay and opportunities for career advancement?

I’m not surprised that you can’t find the baseline, since, as you say, the occupations vary so much, so do the educational backgrounds and skills of the target population. If you are committed to moving forward with 100 -day challenge, then teams have to be able to screen out applicants who are unlikely to achieve the desired results in 100 days, or that’s a set-up for failure, for the teams and the participants. But a 100-day timeline does set up the the teams for “creaming” because only those applicants who already have a higher degree of education or skills will be eligible.

It’s hard to talk about 100 days without talking about the intensity of instruction (hours per day or week). Here’s an example of a highly regarded welding program which gives an idea of the # of hours and weeks Free Job Training in CNC, Welding & Manufacturing Programs | JARC Chicago. A promising and innovative model is called Integrated Education and Training where participants learn occupational/technical skills while also getting contextualized academic and language support simultaneously. This type of program, if intensive enough, might reap results in 100 days or close to it, if the program was fairly intensive (@30 hours per week). There are a few states that have scaled these program models in their adult education systems, and may have some outcome data, but many are still in the early stages of implementation

I agree with @Sandy. I believe 100 days at best is an audacious goal. I’m all for it though as this is the time to do it. I do believe we should be allowed to do some basic screening though.

I’ve seen programs out there that train trainees for very specific tasks in a short period of time such as training to use a very specific tool or technology. YearUp is also an organization where they help underprivileged young adults to move up from min wage jobs to a more meaningful career. Their program is 6-months though. But they do have a more condensed version of it for more “gifted” young adults. Hence the need for the ability to do basic screening.

I share @Sandy 's concern about the risk of creaming. It will be important to get really clear on the population the training hopes to reach (previous education/experience level, presence of other “barriers” to work, etc.).

For folks who have been unemployed or underemployed for a period of time, we often think about 3 and 6 month nationally recognized certificate programs that are aligned to jobs that pay >$15-20/hr:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Child Care Training
  • Computer/Data Entry Clerk
  • Dental Assistant
  • Commercial Drivers License
  • Medical Billing/Coding
  • HVAC Technician
  • IT Support
These might be good comps if you are looking at a similar population.