Video: Meeting Youth Where They Are

By Data-Smart City Solutions • January 25, 2018

In a lightning talk at the Summit on Data-Smart Government, Alicia Roualt discussed the efforts of the Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Digital Services Team to improve the city’s process for offering summer employment to youths.

While summer employment has many positive long-term outcomes including a decrease in risky violent behavior and higher graduation rates, youth employment has been on a steady decline. Seeking to change this, Boston worked to change its process for recruiting and hiring the 3,000 kids the city employs each year.

The Digital Services team mapped the application and hiring process end-to-end, working with kids to develop a user-centered design. The outcome was the Youth Jobs Boston platform, an overhaul of the online hiring interface that allows youths to search for and request specific jobs and city staff to see interested candidates. Thanks to this system and a change from email to a text-message offer for employment, 56 percent more kids accepted offers for summer jobs.

You can access additional resources from the Summit here.

Speaker Bio: Alicia Rouault leads MAPC’s Digital Services Working Group housed within MAPC’s Data Services Department, and has expertise in government innovation, technology and data-driven decision making. As Digital Services Group Manager, Rouault oversees MAPC’s digital product team and strategy, working internally across departments within the agency and directly with municipalities in the region. Rouault leads a team of technology experts that build and design web applications and other data-driven online tools to find new and effective ways to improve decision-making in planning and policy work.