Using AI to connect students with jobs, careers

West Virginia community and technical college presidents pose after signing an agreement with WorkAmerica. (Photo: The Community and Technical College System of West Virginia)

West Virginia’s community and technical colleges are partnering with WorkAmerica, which hosts an online platform that helps to link students and alumni with meaningful employment within the state. 

WorkAmerica signed the agreement this week with the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS) to assist students and alumni as they build professional online profiles, connecting them to a network of employers. Driven by artificial intelligence (AI), profile holders also will receive job feeds that match their educational background, skills, industry credentials and experience.

Current students will be able to use WorkAmerica profiles to connect with local internship and apprenticeship opportunities.

“Giving students access to these types of support services allows them to take control of their career paths as they seek job placements,” WVCTCS Vice Chancellor Casey Sacks said in a press release. “These tools will not only help them now, but in the future as they seek out career advancement by teaching students what skills to highlight to catch a potential employer’s eye.”

Employers will be able recruit via email and instant messaging individuals with profiles matching the skills and qualifications they seek. In addition, profile holders will be able to apply for positions that interest them directly through a free app.

Each college will determine how far back into its alumni database it will go to provide information to the project. That will vary between colleges depending on internal capacity issues, according to WVCTCS. Beginning this month, the colleges will send initial test files to WorkAmerica to establish file transfer methods.

WorkAmerica will gather information about employer needs throughout the state, creating a better understanding of what jobs are available and the skills needed to succeed in those jobs, according to the company. This will allow students and colleges to gear program choices toward the employment needs statewide.

“This is an integral part of the community college system,” said WVCTCS Chancellor Sarah Armstrong Tucker. “Community colleges routinely partner with employers to create programs that meet statewide employment needs. The partnership with WorkAmerica is another way for us to guide students toward available jobs.”

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