MIT Sloan Startup LaborX Bridging the Tech Job Divide

MIT Startup LaborX

There’s a widening rift between employers that need high-end tech employees and a stagnant workforce. Dominican-born, Bronx-raised MIT Sloan MBA ’14 grad Yscaira Jimenez’s soon-to-be-launched LaborX can help wedge the divide.

Dubbed the “Linkedin for the LinkedOut,” LaborX is an “alternative pathway to meaningful employment in the knowledge economy” for nontraditional job candidates.

Ahead of its public launch on September 15, the startup has connected job-seekers with Amazon and Google, among other companies that “otherwise might have ignored or rejected resumes” from candidates with skills or potential but limited formal education. Through a partnership with the City of San Francisco, LaborX has begun working with “48 training programs, which together serve 7,000 people, to target employment at some 1,300 companies.”

As an undergrad at Columbia, Jimenez observed that when it came to her classmates, ability was just one of several factors that afforded them access and opportunity later on.

“I went to some very good schools. And I know I got good training. But I think to get into the schools, ability is not the only measure. Oftentimes it’s privilege, [including] the privilege of hoarding extra resources to study and do well.” With LaborX, Jimenez explains that she’s “trying to have people judged on ability, not on race, gender, or class.”

With $1 million in seed funding already in place thanks to partnerships with AT&T Foundation, Tomkat Foundation, and Tipping Point, LaborX plans to make major moves in the near future. First step: charge membership fees for companies to access LaborX’s talent pool.

“Once we start scaling and showing this can work for all people, we can get more support,” Jimenez explained.

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