Quality employment for flexible-work seekers
Many Long Beach residents need work, but not a regular-hours job. Employment must fit around family caregiving, medical issues, studying, or other commitments. WorkLB is their alternative to “gig work” apps. We use a sophisticated hourly labor platform built around protections, control, and progression for anyone needing work that fits around them.
Enabled by the Long Beach Recovery Act, WorkLB serves Long Beach’s Convention Center, School District, Parks Rec. & Marine, Health & Human Services, and several private sector employers. As more organizations invest in a local pool of flexible workers to cover peak periods or sickness, the more WorkLB can help residents build personalized schedules of quality work.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE NEED FLEXIBLE WORK?
Time required to look after a dependent adult may vary each day based on the person’s condition or availability of other family members and professional support.
A range of conditions can fluctuate unpredictably with periodic good health in-between. Sometimes a person will only know if they can work day-to-day.
For some households, childcare involves a patchwork of informal arrangements. Availability for work can depend on whether a relative is free so a parent can leave the home.
Some residents already have irregular periods of work that they enjoy and wish to retain. But they want extra hours to fit around this primary source of income.
Some students have predictable hours during their time at college. Others have schedules and additional activities that can be uncertain.
WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF WORKLB?
People seeking irregular work typically fall outside publicly funded services focused on job creation and retention. We want to support these marginalized residents as they become an asset for the Long Beach economy.
By matching local agencies and businesses with local residents who have the appropriate skills, experience, or aspirations, we aim to cut travel times and costs for flexible work-seekers.
Exploitation of Data
The WorkLB platform generates a stream of data about patterns of demand, supply, and earnings. This can progressively be harnessed to inform decisions about skilling and individual opportunity.
Ad-hoc employment needs to be more than “survival work”, pathways into regular employment should be available. We use digital badges to capture each person’s unique experience and potential which maximizes their possibilities.
WorkLB has won the US Conference of Mayors’ prize for best economic development initiative in America. As businesses can staff up for new projects or to ensure customers are served promptly, they grow and create need for full time employees.
HOW DOES WORKLB BOOST OPPORTUNITY?
Users access our platform as an app or on the web. It features three key tools to maximize opportunity and efficiency:
A badge records a specific attribute about a work-seeker. There are three categories:
Credentials (proof of formal training): Current driving licence, cashier certification, or GED certificate are examples.
Tags (other verified facts about the person that can attract employers): For example, Tuberculosis Checked, Student Teacher, Front-of-House Experience.
Preferences (badges selected by the work-seeker without validation): Willing to Wear a Facemask, Comfortable Lifting Loads up to 30lbs, Happy to Work Outdoors, are some preferences we ask each work-seeker to select or decline.
A role is a type of work. They can be general (e.g. “Childcare Worker”) or specific to one organization or family (“Recreation Leader: After-School Clubs” is an example).
Offering a role to work-seekers can be limited to those with any badges required. So, to take a fictitious example, the Gabinet Pizzeria might ask us to set up a role for “Gabinet Waitstaff” which is only available to individuals badged with ABC alcohol service training, experience of customer service, and a willingness to work in noisy environments.
Each work-seeker tells the platform when they can work; today, tomorrow, or weeks ahead. They can have a repeating pattern of weekly hours of availability, change their hours day-to-day, or a mix of the two.
We also ask how far they are willing to travel from home, how much notice they need for periods of work, and if they have a minimum shift length.
Employers can make bookings at any time. The pizzeria might have, perhaps, offered their role to 10 qualifying waiters. It might be that 7 of them accepted it, the others decided it was not of interest.
The platform will show how many of Gabinet’s pool of 7 are available each hour for the next ten weeks. Booking can then be instant for any period of need. Each booking generates a timesheet. That record of hours worked can be determined by clock in/clock out functionality on the WorkLB app. Timesheets have to be approved by the work-seeker and a manager before being aggregated and formatted for the restaurant’s payroll system.