The IT Decisions Project, funded by the Maine Economic Improvement Foundation (MEIF), under the leadership of USM Computer Science Adjunct Professor David Bantz, has completed its first phase – a design study of an advanced employment Website. Although the study focused on the IT ecosystem (workers, trainers and employers) the system is applicable to many if not most professions. Innovative features of the design include a skills focus, where qualifications and needs are expressed in a common skill vocabulary; automatic substantiation, where worker claims to skills are substantiated by their training and experience; employer- and trainer-initiated searches, where potential workers and students are automatically identified, and a uniquely flexible matching procedure. This matching procedure handles 'abstract' skills, or skills claims and needs that cover a range of actual skills. The diagram shows what the components of the Website might be and how they relate to each other.
The goal of the IT Decisions Project is to develop solutions for stakeholders in labor markets beyond current capabilities. The project grew out of an earlier project, Maine IT Workforce Management, funded by the Maine Department of Labor. This project analyzed worker skills, employer needs and trainer capabilities and identified mismatches among the various skill profiles. That project also identified deficits in the communication among stakeholders in the IT ecosystem, and recommended a pilot project to build an e-marketplace for all of the stakeholders in the IT ecosystem.
The IT Decisions project is actively seeking partners for the development of the Website. Among those approached have been the Maine Job Bank, an effort of the Maine Department of Labor, and International Business Machines.