Category: News

Site Selection Magazine: 2023 Workforce Guide – featuring skillsgapp’s Skillionaire Games, Rad Lab, and South Carolina

Workforce has been cited in Site Selection Magazine’s annual survey of corporate consultants as the No. 1 factor in site selection decisions for several years in a row. The 2023 Workforce Guide is a special report providing insight into workforce development partnerships and practices across the U.S.

Skillsgapp and South Carolina’s Life Sciences Industry Feature: A Workforce Gaming Initiative, Rad Lab, is having a positive impact on the future workforce: Wanna Be A Skillionaire?

Members of a South Carolina industry association say a fun online game with prizes could put young people in line for prized STEM careers.

The industry is life sciences, the fastest-growing industry among South Carolina’s knowledge economy sectors, having grown by more than 42% since 2017. The organization is SCBIO, a statewide life sciences organization representing more than 1,000 organizations statewide employing more than 87,000 professionals across the sector’s entire range of disciplines. In early November 2022, it partnered with Skillionaire GamesTM — the business-to-consumer side of Greenville-based education technology firm skillsgapp — to announce the recent launch of Rad Lab, a mobile phone game that provides organizers with trackable geographic data and customizable incentives based on a player’s location, performance and proficiencies as they compete to gain ever-higher levels of skill in various STEM-based life science areas.

Read More Here.

Value Inspiration Podcast #243: Tina Zwolinski, CEO Skillsgapp – on game-changing workforce development

A story about using technology to connect youth to life-changing careers.

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help manufacturing and cybersecurity businesses to attract and grow a sustainable workforce pipeline.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. How to find transformative innovation opportunities by zooming out to the global picture
  2. How to create a flywheel for growth when there’s no real owner of the problem. 
  3. How you can solve a global challenge by approaching it locally.
  4. The power that unlocks when purpose and technology blend.

Listen here:

Outspoken Podcast-Season 5: Collaborating, Gaming, and the STEM Talent Pipeline

Listen Here.

In this episode of The Outspoken Podcast, host Shana Cosgrove talks to Cynthia Jenkins, co-founder and CMO of Skillsgapp, maker of Skillionaire Games. Cynthia describes how her company is developing video games that school districts and industry leaders can use to teach middle and high school students about STEM careers in their local communities. Cynthia describes her training in journalism and advertising as well as her mid-career transition—together with collaborator Tina Zwolinski—from marketing to the world of gaming. Shana and Cynthia talk about the need for soft skills in every field and the increasing recognition that reaching and teaching kids earlier about opportunities in STEM is crucial to filling an anticipated 700,000 new tech jobs with industry and government employers. Cynthia says that, yes, sometimes you actually should go to bed angry, and she tells Shana a surprising story about a chance meeting with The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood.

Skillsgapp Co-Founder And Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Cynthia Jenkins Joins Girls Inc.’s Project Accelerate

Cynthia Jenkins, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of skillsgapp, a company that develops free-to-play mobile gaming apps that help middle and high school-aged+ youth achieve life-changing career awareness and localized pathway access, as well as develop the soft skills necessary to pursue jobs in skills-based industries through game-changing play, has announced a strategic partnership with the Girls Inc.’s Project Accelerate mentorship program, a pilot undertaken in Orange County, California.

The Girls Inc.’s Project Accelerate mentorship program seeks to close the gender equity gap by supporting young women through post-secondary education and networking into the workforce, ensuring that they can achieve influential leadership positions in the process.

Project Accelerate was funded by Equality Can’t Wait, an initiative launched by Pivotal Ventures, Melinda Gates’ investment and incubation enterprise, to expedite progress toward gender equality in the U.S. The initiative garnered additional support from Mackenzie Scott and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, awarding $40 million to the organizations or coalitions of organizations offering the most compelling proposals to help expand women’s empowerment and influence in the U.S. by 2030. Read More.

Tech Times | Exclusives #50: Skillsgapp CEO Tina Zwolinski – Who doesn’t wanna be a Skillionaire?

Skillsgapp’s CEO Tina Zwolinski discusses how Skillsgapp transforms manufacturing and cybersecurity career awareness, access to job pathways and corresponding skills development into fun, engaging mobile video games. Watch or listen here.

Use Case Podcast: Storytelling about skillsgapp with Tina Zwolinski

On this episode of The Use Case Podcast with William Tincup, Tina Zwolinski from skillsgapp talks about using the gamification of workforce development and recruitment for Gen Z applicants and employees. Listen here.

GSA BizWire: Announcing the 2022 InnoVision Awards Finalists

The InnoVision Awards Board of Directors is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2022 InnoVision Awards. This year’s finalists include both large and small organizations, representing an array of industries, from the upstate to the coast – a true reflection of South Carolina’s robust innovation economy.

InnoVision Awards honor South Carolina individuals and organizations for impactful innovations under development in South Carolina within the last 18 months. The annual awards are the mark of distinction for the many organizations, individuals, educators and leaders who have been honored over the 24-year history of the InnoVision Awards.

The 2022 finalists in the six competitive award categories are:

Technology Development

Foresight Data Systems LLC (Columbia)
Laminaheat LLC (Greer)
Victory ExoFibres, LLC (Central)

Community Service

South Carolina Broadband Office (Columbia)
Pickens County (Pickens)
The Sophia Institute (Charleston)

Small Enterprise

Advent Innovations (Columbia)
ASSET, LLC (Columbia)
Heartbeat Technologies (Mt Pleasant)

Education

MedEx Academy – Prisma Health System (Greenville)
skillsgapp llc (Greenville)
Sprattronics Learning Lab (Greenville)

Technology Integration

CyCrypt, LLC (West Columbia)
TTI Outdoor Power Equipment, Inc. (Anderson)
Zylo Therapeutics, Inc. (Greenville)

Sustainability

Clemson University Environmental Engineering & Earth Science Department (Clemson)
Performance Enhanced Delivery (Moore)
VBASE Oil Company (Pendleton)

Read more.

Women Talk Construction: Episode 24-Erasing Stigmas with Tina Zwolinski

In this episode, Angela and Christi talk with Tina Zwolinski from Skillsgapp. Tina helped create a gaming app for youth that teaches various trade skills with the opportunity to see information about local companies that are hiring for those trade skills. Since so many young people are playing games on their mobile phones these days (90%), doesn’t it makes sense to target our youth with an app that can actually help them plan for their careers? This is a great way to erase the stigmas that surround the trade skills in our nation. Listen to find out how!

UpstateBizSC: Entrepreneur Minute – Tina Zwolinski, skillsgapp

Tina Zwolinski is the founder and CEO of skillsgapp, a workforce gaming app company that fields mobile, engaging interactive apps that help middle and high school-aged youth achieve career awareness and pathway access for jobs in skills-based industries, including aerospace and automotive manufacturing, life sciences, cybersecurity, construction trades, and other technical industries.

The mission of skillsgapp is to connect youth to life-changing careers through game-changing play. Skillsgapp gaming apps are ideal for states and broader regions, economic development organizations, industries, and public sector agencies dedicated to building a qualified workforce pipeline. The geolocation feature of the gameplay connects the players to career and pathway opportunities right around them.

A serial entrepreneur, for 20 years Tina was also the founder and CEO of ZWO, a branding and marketing firm focused on economic and workforce development and generational consumer brands. She is a winner of Greenville’s Best & Brightest award, a graduate of Leadership Greenville’s Class 37, and has previously served stints on the boards of Langston Charter Middle School and Fostering Great Ideas, a national non-profit devoted to improving the life of youth who are in the foster care system. She currently serves on the Academic Advisory Council for the National Skilled Trades Alliance, on the South Carolina Association of Continuing Higher Education Board, and on the Board of the Greenville Professional Women’s Forum. Tina also mentors middle and high school youth. Read more.

EdTech Digest: Behind A Workforce Game Changer for Gen Z

If states, regions, and industry all want the same thing—a qualified workforce pipeline—then how can they get it? In other words, what’s it gonna take?

One way is by transforming skills development, career awareness, and job opportunities into mobile gaming technology. That’s just what Tina Zwolinski, CEO and founder of skillsgapp is doing.

“We are revolutionizing how the next generation engages in, and views, skills-based careers at an earlier age,” she says. To accomplish all this, she works with state and regional economic development agencies, K-12 and post-secondary education, and industry (Automotive Manufacturing, Aerospace Manufacturing , Cybersecurity & IT, Life Sciences & Healthcare).

“With 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, attracting both middle and high schoolers today is paramount in securing our workforce and economy of tomorrow,” says Zwolinski.

“By meeting Gen Z wherever they are – on their phones – through fun, mobile skills training customized to go and grow with them, we are building a more qualified workforce for years to come.”

Here, Zwolinski sat down for a long-form discussion with EdTech Digest to talk about the bigger picture and how, despite the gap, everything fits together.  Read More.