Several years ago, Fast Forward Works’ CEO and co-founder, Greg Hambrick, was charged with giving away nearly $2MM to nonprofit organizations in Houston, Texas. In his role overseeing a charitable trust, he had information about communities’ needs and access to services. Many lived below the poverty level and were in extreme need of food, clothing, adequate shelter and child care assistance. The nonprofits Greg funded stepped in to meet these basic needs. They also provided education and job training, which are proven ways to break the cycle of poverty.
He was pleased that many people took advantage of education and job training services. However, as he dug deeper, the dynamics didn’t feel right.
CEO & Co-Founder
First, many organizations focused their employment training on generic soft skills aimed at “winning the interview” rather than helping candidates identify and attain jobs matched to their individual skill sets.
Second, many individuals, including those with criminal records, were in and out of employment, holding very diverse jobs while employed. This made it difficult to understand their true skills and capabilities, thereby hindering job placement success.
The initial result of job training was that the majority of participants (about 65%) found jobs, which sounded great. However, they rarely found the right job, and in less than a year, many had lost their employment--often due to a mismatch in placement rather than actual underperformance. The number impacted locally was huge. Extrapolate that over the entire country, and the number would be enormous. It was a problem of such breadth that any measurable improvement would mean helping a lot of people.
A huge gulf existed between the employers struggling to find and keep bona fide candidates and the throng of smart, determined, and talented people in these communities--people who wanted to work and remain employed--yet who were discouraged by a system that was supposed to help them. Greg recognized that the barrier to entry into the job market for those with unconventional backgrounds was very high, and they needed greater longevity in their roles.
He knew there had to be a better way to match the job skills of candidates with the needs of employers in a scalable, cost-efficient way. An elite team of neuroscientists, mathematicians, and technology experts was assembled to find solutions. After months of research, experimentation and field testing, the team created a cloud-based prototype software that efficiently captures the individual skills and dispositions associated with most jobs.
Fast Forward Works connects job seekers to work requiring their unique set of talents while greatly expediting the successful process of people finding sustainable jobs, providing them financial stability and independence. Companies win, too. Training costs and turnover are reduced and productivity increases.