The San Diego Workforce Partnership will present their winning proposal on Rapid Re-Employment for Dislocated Workers, at the White House Learning Exchange and Celebration Feb. 16.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) was one of 10 teams selected for this phase of the 80 teams who entered the challenge. Multiple agencies reviewed the proposals, including the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Each proposal was judged in five categories: coursework, partnership, participation, project proposal and sustainable strategy.

The three-person team started the project with a 7-week course from IDEO.org, which taught them to create customer-centered solutions, according to the release. Then, the Workforce Partnership created an Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Expo in response to layoffs at one of San Diego’s largest ICT companies.

The group interviewed employers, visited businesses, hosted brainstorming sessions and enlisted partners.

“We originally wanted to plan a job fair, but we knew from our interviews with employers that job fairs don’t work, and that job fairs don't serve ICT professionals well,” said Kelley Ring, SDWP senior business and research analyst, in the company’s release. “Instead, we planned the ICT Industry Expo.”

The event was hosted at a local microbrewery in Sorrento Valley. Employers and ICT employees facing layoffs were invited to sign up and network in an environment that was more relaxed than a typical job fair.