My Skills My Future

Brief: 

The mySkills myFuture website is an electronic tool that enables previously employed job seekers to match their occupational skills and experiences with the skills needed in other occupations, in order to enhance their career mobility and economic prospects.

The problem addressed by the campaign: 
  • Worker dislocation affects millions of workers in the United States. In July 2010, 6.5 million unemployed persons were on permanent layoff, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Unemployment Insurance estimates that 3.5 million individuals exhausted their unemployment insurance during 2010. Given the slow pace of economic recovery and foreign trade and technological developments, laid-off workers must search for work in other occupations. Job seekers can search more efficiently if they understand how their current skills match the skill needs in demand within different occupations and industries.
Solution: 
  • Information about the tasks individuals carry out at work and the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform on the job is already available through the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) system supported by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration. The mySkills myFuture site is the first free public-sector tool that leverages O*NET information with other employment, education, training and apprenticeship databases to create an online skill transferability tool. This tool helps job seekers, the workforce investment system, career counsellors and the general public to match workers’ skills with occupations and industries where job openings exist.
  • mySkills myFuture lets users:
    • Use previous employment experience to identify similar occupations they may be qualified for
    • Identify the skills they need but lack to qualify for a specific job
    • Identify education, training and apprenticeship institutions where they can get these skills
    • Find links to relevant job opportunities in state and national job banks
Impact: 
  • The website launched with great success and was publicly praised and promoted by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, several members of Congress, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, including Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis.
  • Job seekers have access to a far more advanced view of their occupation and related occupations. They can research their field’s expected growth and new qualifications required, thus facilitating informed career changes
Why has it worked?: 
  • Workers in the United States have easy access to up-to-date career information enabling well-informed job moves. mySkills myFuture includes the following helpful features:
    • A step-by-step guide
    • Examples of how the tool can be used to address various questions and situations
    • An online instructional video
  • The mySkills myFuture site is continually evolving in response to user feedback and suggestions. Scheduled new features include:
    • Locate employers. This new feature will let users locate local businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies and other potential employers for the occupation they have selected.
    • Select work preferences. This feature will let users filter their career matches based on several work preferences. Users will be able to exclude careers that often require irregular work hours, frequent sitting, standing, good vision, good hearing and several other work characteristics.
Conclusions and Recommendations: 
  • Access to information helps the fluidity and quality of labour market decisions. Providing economic context and resources can help yield positive results for any country’s workforce.
  • Employment opportunity can be strengthened by moving beyond the confines of “jobs” to a broader mix of human capital assets that employees “own” and may have value to potential employers.
  • Other countries should be able to exploit the enhanced knowledge and information of the human capital prerequisites of many different kinds of employment to increase opportunities for matching employers and employees in labour markets.
Foundational Issues: 
Information gaps
Level of Collaboration: 
Level 3: Collaboration on an industry or regional level
Region: 
North America
Economic and political context: 

United States:

  • Population: 309.7 million (2010)
  • Unemployment rate: 9.3% (2009)
  • GDP: US$ 14,582.4 million (2010)
About the Author(s): 

mySkills myFuture is part of CareerOneStop – a suite of web-based products funded and developed by the U.S. Department of Labor. CareerOneStop includes America's Career InfoNet and America's Service Locator. Each product offers unique solutions for the increasing demands of today's labour market to meet the specialized needs of job seekers, employers and the workforce and education communities.