Chariot Labs

Building Regional Systems to Re-Connect Communities Through Energy and IoT Initiatives.

Closing the Skills Gap & Reducing Poverty

According to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia’s Poor: Who they are, where they live, and how that has changed, poverty remains one of the city’s most enduring problems. Philadelphia’s poverty rate at 26% is the highest among the country’s largest cities. Of those in poverty, nearly half are in deep poverty. Pew’s research indicates that the city’s high poverty rate is partly due to the fact that regional jobs largely fall into two categories: low-wage, low-skill jobs insufficient to provide for a family; or high-salary, high-skilled jobs out of reach of those from low-wealth families. As demand for educational attainment increases, supply is diminishing steadily. Chariot Labs is focused on closing the skills gap that keeps individuals from low-wealth communities from obtaining high-paying jobs in Philadelphia’s growing energy and tech sectors.

Aligning Career Pathways To Industry Demand

The need for education pathways that are connected to jobs and careers is greater than ever. Though some engagement pathways offer both education and employment supports, more intentionally linked pathways and increased access to paid work experiences are needed. For students who complete K-12 but do not enroll directly in postsecondary education, few supports or programs exist to help connect them with college or career pathways. The result is an ever growing gap between workers’ skills and employers demands. Chariot Labs is partnering with the K-12 community and energy and tech industries to establish innovative seamless pathways to relevant skills training, and credential and degree programs to ensure Philadelphia’s students in low-wealth communities have the skills necessary to compete for in-demand jobs.

Focused on Digital Literacy & Energy Services Skills

The Philadelphia Region is home to the largest refinery on the East Coast and is ideally positioned to become a global energy hub adding jobs and expanding the base of businesses that work in the energy supply chain. Its burgeoning tech market spans across the biztech, edtech, digital health and biotech sectors. Both industries have great challenges meeting workforce demands and obtaining diverse talent. Chariot Labs’s model delivers workforce development programs through a tailored science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) enriched educational platform connecting industry and supply chain needs, secondary and post-high school training programs, internships, life skills and wraparound services to meet anticipated demand for employment in the energy and tech industries. 

Prepare Individuals With The Skills Employers Need For A World-Class Workforce

Chariot Labs created its Summer Energy Academy and Summer Tech Academy to immerse underexposed students in hands-on educational experiences in a real world context. The programming model was designed with a systems thinking approach to energy, environmental and digital literacy. The overall program encourages students to learn about energy and tech through direct engagement – discovering and applying this knowledge to the energy choices and business challenges we all face, both now and in the future. The goal is not seeking to identify all areas of understanding, but rather to focus on those that are essential to provide students with knowledge-based, hands-on skills and the opportunity to benefit from employment in the new energy and tech economies.

Address The Underlying Barriers That Prevent Candidates From Accessing Meaningful Career Opportunities

The lack of adequate preparation in grades K-12 in literacy, math, and science; the increasing importance of postsecondary education to the labor market; the limited pathways to integrate education with employment; and the limited programs targeting youth with a high school credential are all contributing barriers to workers accessing meaningful career opportunities. Chariot Labs believes that Innovative partnerships aimed at literacy and remedial preparation in science and math; intentional connections to college or career credentials; increased access to early paid work experiences; and programs targeting youth with a high school credential can have a significant impact on reducing these barriers.

Building a workforce system that is more coordinated, innovative and effective.

Chariot Lab’s goal is to create sustainable collaborative, integrated workforce systems that provide innovative education-to-career solutions. We are establishing knowledge–based workforce development programming by bringing nontraditional partners together within an integrated community thereby diversifying the Philadelphia’s region economic base by promoting research, education, and technological innovation and fostering collaborative and strategic alliances between varied industries to provide a narrowly-tailored, science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) enriched educational platform for low-wealth African-American and Latino individuals and communities. Diverse strategic partnerships with community-based organizations, industry participants, governmental agencies and educational institutions positions Chariot Labs to be at the forefront of energy- and tech-related activities as these economies expand in the Philadelphia region anchored in a shared value creation through a stakeholder model approach.