ServiceNow, the leading digital workflow company that makes work, work better for people, announced that ChargerHelp! has won ServiceNow’s Digital Workforce Challenge, the company’s first-ever global competition designed to crowdsource solutions across industries for the 21st century workforce.
“ServiceNow believes that technology should be in the service of people, which is why we created the Digital Workforce Challenge to recognize entrepreneurship that fosters a more inclusive and digitally literate workforce of the future,” said Kathy Mulvany, Head of Global Impact at ServiceNow. “All of our Challenge finalists share a commitment to innovation that benefits underserved populations. ChargerHelp!’s solution in particular stood out for its promise of enabling a new workforce for the green economy.”
ServiceNow collaborated with MIT Solve, a marketplace for social impact innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to gather and narrow down applicants and conduct the Digital Workforce Challenge. The Challenge specifically called for innovative, scalable, and sustainable solutions that aim to help solve the growing skills and job vacancies gap by increasing opportunities for people — particularly those from marginalized and underserved populations — to acquire the necessary skills to fully participate in the digital workforce.
Innovation in EV charging station service recognized
The Digital Workforce Challenge winner, ChargerHelp!, aims to drive Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption and sustainable success of EV network providers by helping to shrink the time it takes to service charging stations from weeks to hours. The new ChargerHelp! app will enable a community’s local workforce to easily validate, troubleshoot, or escalate a software issue impacting a networked EV charge station, regardless of their technical abilities. Studies have found that as much as 25% of the roughly 20,000 deployed EV charge stations are down at any given time due to software, rather than electrical, issues.
Based in Los Angeles, ChargerHelp! aims to address these issues for network providers while using technology to drive workforce realignment and development in the new green economy. ChargerHelp! works with workforce development agencies to provide employees with a three-week technician training program, and in turn sells annual maintenance service contracts to EV manufacturers, network providers, and EV charge station resellers. As the winner of the Digital Workforce Challenge, ChargerHelp! will receive a $100,000 cash prize as well as skills-based mentorship and other resources from ServiceNow to bring to market its solution, pilot programs, and technician training programs.
“It’s incredibly motivating and exciting that our vision has been validated by this recognition,” said Kameale C. Terry, co-founder and CEO of ChargerHelp!. “We are so grateful for the support of ServiceNow – which will help us solve a very real need for the clean tech industry, enable a local workforce, and raise awareness of workforce development programs. We truly believe that anyone from any community can learn new skills and excel as long as they have the right resources and technology to enable them.”
150+ teams across 44 countries participated in first-ever ServiceNow competition
More than 150 teams – including students, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and established startups – across 44 countries developed and submitted solutions focused on digital creativity, workforce development, upskilling, job placement, and financing issues related to digital literacy through MIT Solve’s open innovation platform. Nine finalists – AnnieCannons, Arist, BBC micro:bit, ChargerHelp!, FORTE, DoctHERS, Kiron Campus, LaunchCode, and Skilllab – were then chosen to present their ideas to a panel of 13 cross-sector judges, who selected the final winner.
The finalists’ solutions also were evaluated by ServiceNow’s global employees, who awarded AnnieCannons with the ServiceNow Employees’ Choice Award. AnnieCannons is a nonprofit software training program that provides survivors of exploitation and abuse with economic power and independence. AnnieCannons trains abuse survivors in high-demand software programming skills, and then finds and manages contract-based work for them.
“Today’s work environment is facing a constant evolution, driven by automation and globalization, and this digital evolution is only being magnified by the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Matthew Minor, Director of International Programs, MIT Solve. “Our partnership with ServiceNow – and the new solutions brought to life by this challenge – will help equip the current and future workforce with the digital skills needed to access relevant work opportunities.”
All submissions were evaluated on the following criteria: 1) Alignment to the challenge set forth, 2) Potential for impact, 3) Scalability to affect the lives of more people, 4) Feasibility and plan for financial sustainability, and 5) Innovative Approach by presenting a new application of a solution, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge at hand.
“What impressed me most about the solutions and participants, is their enthusiasm and belief in what they’re doing. They really want to make a difference and that came out loud and clear, it was beautiful,” said Nisreen Farhan, Digital Workforce Challenge judge and Digital Transformation Advisor, International Monetary Fund. “As a development economist, digital literacy, inclusion, and the movement out of poverty have always been in my heart of hearts. The challenge is unique because it is about helping people through the privilege that we have – access to technology, funding, and expertise – to help the underprivileged by providing access to opportunity in the workforce of the future.”