Madison youth program ties for second in national challenge

The Global Business Coalition for Education announced that the Madison-based Sidekick Education program tied for second in the first-ever “Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge.” The competition honors teams for innovative ideas that help young people participate in the workforce. Challenge winner Action Greensboro will receive $100,000, and Sidekick Education, along with the other second-place program, will receive $10,000. Sidekick Education designed a text-based chatbot service that acts as a career advisor for 4,000 low-income youth ages 16–24.

In the U.S., one in 10 young people is not in school and not employed, a total of 4 million youth. The most recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed 11.3 million current job openings, with openings increasing in many sectors, including service and manufacturing.