Potluck Café Society
Supported by Potluck Café Society, Knack facilitates impact hiring for individuals facing barriers to employment through an online platform. In order to meet the needs and abilities of local residents, Knack reframes the unit of work from 40 hours/week to small tasks, and aims to create a ‘task bank’ of low barrier income generating opportunities. Knack breaks away from the traditional résumé-based approach to job hunting, reframing the conversation to focus on connecting tasks with skills and meeting the needs of local residents on their terms. Knack is also building strategic partnerships between local trainers, support organizations, and businesses. It serves as a springboard to transition participants from volunteering and informal work into formal, low-barrier employment.
LEDlab worked with Knack for two consecutive years. In our first year of work together, LEDlab rapidly accelerated the development of Knack, a ‘task bank’ of income-generating opportunities supported by a competency-based digital badging program. After her internship, LEDlab Project Coordinator Anna Migicovsky was hired as Chief Operating Officer to grow and scale this innovative social enterprise
In 2016/17 LEDlab supported Knack to further develop a digital badging ecosystem amongst inner city organizations. Project Coordinator, Teresa Edge, conducted a stakeholder discovery process to understand how to form better matches between employers and earners, and researched the landscape of trainings in the DTES and the ‘menu’ of skills being taught and potential trainers to badge with next. Through this work Teresa strengthened relationships with 11 trainers, and established badging partnerships with Mission Possible and WorkBC. Teresa also facilitated a soft skills training workshop series, which led to 353 hours of capacity building for DTES residents, and in particular the up skilling of two peer facilitators to support future cohorts. During our 2016/17 partnership, Knack matched earners with 55 paid tasks and 9 contract part-time jobs. By the end of our two years of work together Knack’s community grew to over 150 earners.