Our primary value for our users is increased transparency, and our customers gain a competitive advantage in finding great employees, but for this post I want to discuss our secondary value, education. While our review system allows employees to avoid terrible conditions, it doesn’t directly help them improve their own earning potential. The key to doing so is it provide them with the skills that companies need. This makes the employee’s work more valuable and a company more willing to pay for it. Companies also win out. They gain skilled employees who increase the company’s productivity, profitability, and eventually their reinvestment back into the business.
So why does this lack of coordination exist? Information about local events and educational opportunities are hard to come by in industrial hubs like Tijuana. This is especially true for new migrants to the area. They may be able to get tips from their friends about how to progress in the labor market, such as a short-term training program in accounting, but this information is just as inaccurate and inconsistent as information about working conditions. Not only does this make it challenging for workers to progress in the labor market, but companies can’t find workers with the skill set they need. So how can we begin to match the skillset needed by the employer to the education provided to employees? How do we make education reactive to the market’s needs?
The first step, which is available in our MVP, is to allow employees to post about opportunities and tips on employee resources. The community will build a more accurate and holistic source of information that is constantly being updated given the current labor market. The second step will be to provide that training directly on our site. Fortunately, due to the incredible work of groups like Khan Academy and others, there are ample free educational resources online. We plan to host this content, and in partnership with our customers (employers), decide which courses are most relevant to the current needs of the market, and highlight them for our users (employees). As Bryan Caplan and many others have pointed out, the signaling effect of education is a large proportion of the increase in earning potential of education. For this reason, we hope to work with the employers in the community to improve the credibility of our certification. It is possible that we may be able to partner with the local Tijuana universities to create affordable online certification programs for employees as well.
Imagine you had just moved to Tijuana from Oaxaca to find a job. You only knew a cousin that had moved there three months prior, so you log onto Vize, find the best factories near you and start working at a decent factory down the street. After a couple months of working there, you get a notification that companies in your industry really need people with financial accounting skills. The app then redirects you to an online accounting course. You spend the next few months finishing the course and you find a new job that pays nearly double your last income. By acting as a coordination tool and a feedback loop between the market and education providers, we may be able to make training reactive to the market and thus give employees a greater opportunity for upward mobility.