Category: News

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.

WorkingNation: An avatar-guided career path

Using mobile gaming to help young students understand existing jobs

According to research, 95% of U.S. teens have access to a smartphone. Tina Zwolinski, co-founder and CEO of skillsgapp, says there is great opportunity to introduce young students – via their phones – to career options.

“Skillsgapp is a workforce pipeline initiative and the tool that we use as part of that initiative is mobile gaming,” explains Zwolinski. “We focus on middle school and high school ages. There’s a real opportunity through career awareness to help them navigate. High schoolers have to make decisions on what they’re going to do after school. Those are really important years of influence.”

In addition to soft skills, Zwolinski says game models – which not all have launched – focus on cybersecurity, aerospace, automotive, skilled trades, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, STEM, and life sciences.

Read More:

SCBIZ Magazine: SC Life Sciences Issue

South Carolina’s bustling life sciences industry is the theme for the July/August issue.

According to SCBIO’s 2022 life sciences impact report, the South Carolina’s life science sector has grown by 62% since the study, conducted in 2021, and generates a total economic output of nearly $26 billion each year.

You can read more about the reason behind that growth inside these pages.

You can also learn about innovative life sciences-related companies and cutting-edge research in this issue, including BrightMa Farms, a pioneer in the hemp industry that is eyeing the international market; SkillsGapp, which aims to connect workforce opportunities with emerging talent; and Vertical Roots, the country’s largest hydroponic container whose technology is changing how communities grow food.

You’ll also hear from James Chappell, CEO of SCBIO, Sam Konduros, CEO of Southeast Life Sciences and Susie Shannon, president and CEO of the SC Council on Competitiveness.

Skillsgapp’s Rad Lab mobile workforce development game is featured on pages 20-23.

https://issuu.com/scbiz/docs/scbiz_june_/22