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.

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.

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