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The Future of Work is Now

Intelligent workforce technology solutions that prepare individuals and organizations for the next generation of work 

Pioneering Workforce Development Tech

fivestar* is heavily involved in workforce development and education initiatives that help prepare individuals and organizations for the future of work through the intelligent use of technology. Working with leading regional and national workforce consortiums, fivestar* has developed solutions that connect students, workers, adult learners, and veterans with re-skilling and career pathway opportunities. Many of these systems were developed in frameworks that can be efficiently adapted for new implementations.

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Our Approach

Our technologies help prepare organizations and workers for the next generation of work across multiple sectors. We’re dedicated to creating scalable, sustainable frameworks that get workers on pathways to careers and provides organizations with the data that they need to effectively make decisions.

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Centralize Workflows

through user-centered design and a clear understanding of key workflow objectives and steps.

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Optimize Processes

through business intelligence and configurable rules that shift complexity and manual work away from end-users.

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Enable Decision-Making

through real-time data and comprehensive reporting tools that provide in-depth analysis and visual insights.

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Our Frameworks

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Credit for Prior Learning

Building awareness of credit for prior learning opportunities. Managing the CPL workflow from onboarding through award. Implemented in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and West Virgina.

Apprenticeships

Northshore Community College of Massachusetts is a leader in the field of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), and a pioneer in using technology to support the PLA workflow. One of the primary goals of PLA is to reduce barriers to learning and re-training for adult learners looking to quickly re-enter the workforce. Like many colleges in areas with a high rate of transitioning workers, Northshore was challenged with efficiently evaluating the experience of prospective students for credit to reduce the amount of time they would spend in the classroom. The large number of prospective students waiting for evaluation coupled with paper-based processes and manual stakeholder coordination created significant bottlenecks.

fivestar* worked closely with Northshore to map out their prior learning assessment, stakeholders, touchpoints, and existing tools, highlighting opportunities to improve the process and to introduce automation. The resulting solution incorporated and enhanced Northshore’s existing prior learning assessment process, drastically reducing the learning curve for staff and administrators. The solution also helped to better engage prospective students in providing experience information, while reducing the amount of manual work and coordination required of evaluators in evaluating that experience for credit.

fivestar* has worked with colleges and non-profits across the country to identify similar opportunities in their operations to better engage their target market, while reducing overall stress on their staff and budgets.

Questions? Email us.
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Career Pathways

Connecting students and employees with training providers and employers who can help them take their next steps towards in-demand careers. Implemented in Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia.

Career Pathways

Funded via $20 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, fivestar* worked with the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office (MCCEO) on a multifaceted approach to help high school students, unemployed, dislocated, incumbent, underemployed workers, active-duty military and veterans find a career path that is mutually beneficial to the learner and the community’s economic growth. Over a period of three years, fivestar* researched, designed, and developed the following systems.

CareerGPS

This innovative curriculum-to-career portal helps job-seekers and prospective students make informed decisions about career options — matching individual interests and skills with programs and careers. Factoring in the individual's unique needs, expectations and preferences, the application identifies nearby Massachusetts Community Colleges with relevant academic programs that match career preferences. In addition to aligning individual interests, goals and college offerings, the application is supported by current labor market information. As a result, tool visitors receive a customized online experience that culminates with a detailed action plan tailored to their personal career and academic objectives, furthering their educational and professional growth while driving program interest and student enrollment within the college system.

MyExperienceCounts

With an array of experiences that often translate to college credit, promoting a program that improves the process for identifying and awarding credit for prior learning (CPL) benefits students and institutions. The MyExperienceCounts solution is a centralized, online portal that promotes CPL program awareness and helps college staff better serve students who are seeking credit for life experiences. The tool streamlines the CPL process through a shared, online workspace that enhances collaboration and efficiencies, setting more students on a path to success through CPL.

Data Warehouse and Anonymizer

fivestar* built a powerful data warehouse that centralized information from multiple sources to streamline decision-making based on specific questions. New schemas were created to integrate workforce and academic data from local, state and federal sources. The data warehouse included an anonymization engine to safeguard sensitive student information and a view to manage who can access data and the time period for which that data was made available. Questions? Email us.

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Learning Management

Dynamic and configurable system to manage, deploy, and track highly individual training plans. Implemented for corporate clients in banking, technology, and retail.

Learning Management

A regional restaurant chain required a system to design, manage, deploy, and track highly individualized learning plans to 30,000 associates in over 400 locations. The nuanced differences in how the organization managed learning and development made a tremendous impact on its culture and elevated it to best-in-class. Off-the-shelf learning management solutions were evaluated, but no system captured the specific requirements that aligned the system with how the organization provided training. The total cost of customization and licensing was prohibitively expensive for the volume of users and locations engaged in the use of the system.

fivestar* worked with this restaurant chain to design and develop an Employee Automated Learning Management solution helps them manage individual employee learning and training plans through automated assignment of just-in-time training based on real-time employee data and organizational training requirements as business conditions require. fivestar* spent time on-site talking with associates, managers, training facilitators, and the leadership team to understand and prioritize the unique requirements of their training and development methodology. From that experience came comprehensive requirements to be included in the solution as well as a map of the individual user workflows, data models, and technical opportunities/constraints. The design required solving for several distribution issues such as low-bandwidth connections to stores, frequent exceptions to system rules, and the need to be hosted fully in-house on highly restricted infrastructure to which little access was given during development. Applying client feedback from mockups, prototypes, and design sessions with stakeholders, fivestar* developed a highly dynamic and configurable system that used business logic, robotic process automation, and a rule-based assignment engine to evaluate numerous criteria in real-time to deliver specific content to each associate. The system integrated within our client’s existing environment and allowed for future expansion.

This feature rich application:

  1. Connects with the organizational HR information system (HRIS) to access current employee data, including the employee roster, titles/roles, location, and status.
  2. Monitors the HRIS data feed for any changes to employee data that can create changes to the employee’s training plan; including a change in location, title, or status.
  3. Connects with the organization’s learning management system (LMS) to build training plans and to connect employees with training content and courses.
  4. Provides progress tracking and reporting to individual employees, managers, and training administrators about course assignments and completion of requirements on training plans.
Questions? Email us.
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Data Management 

Automating complex workflows to increase efficiencies within organizations. Increasing operational effectiveness reduces overall operational costs. Implemented in Massachusetts and for corporate clients in banking, finance, technology, and retail.

Data Management

Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) is the nation’s leading collaborative in robotics and workforce innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership, ARM accelerates the advancement of transformative robotic technologies and education to increase the U.S. global manufacturing competitiveness. According to a Deloitte/Manufacturing Institute report, when asked to cite the most effective skilled production workforce development strategies, 49% of executives answered, “the creation of new veteran hiring programs.”

To assist in the effort, fivestar* is part of a consortium of ARM members representing industry, education, workforce development, and government developing an apprenticeship program model to translate the skills and competencies military personnel acquire to the skills and competencies required in Industry 4.0 manufacturing. The program is directly linked to the U.S Department of Defense’s SkillBridge initiative. DoD SkillBridge is an opportunity for service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service.

Central to the program is an online portal to match and connect transitioning military service members with training providers and employers. fivestar* is conducting a discovery phase to determine the technical strategy to best integrate the education partner’s existing systems to the SkillBridge technical platform. fivestar* is creating user and data workflows, user journey maps, and business/technical requirements for the project.

Questions? Email us.

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Course Management 

Centralized data and content management platforms for administrators and streamlined course information access for students. Implemented in Massachusetts and for corporate clients in banking, finance, technology, and retail.

Course Management

Massachusetts Community College System

Online courses, distance learning and virtual classrooms — the way today's tech savvy and time crunched students choose to learn is rapidly changing. Massachusetts colleges and universities banded together to meet evolving approaches to learning as Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) — offering thousands of online courses across 24 institutions statewide. However, college staff needed a better way to effectively manage the resulting massive amounts of data across the collaborative. In addition, the legacy web platform had become outdate, which created internal inefficiencies and threatened registration rates as a result. In their legacy web platform, the design didn't fit current best practices, and the process for managing their extensive course catalog was cumbersome. College staff desperately needed a better way to enter, share and update course and program information. MCO turned to fivestar* to develop a fresh, responsive and content-rich website powered by a robust back-end toolset that centralizes data and content management processes for administrators and streamlines course information access for students.

This feature rich application:

  1. Optimizes search capabilities to allow students to find and explore up-to-date and comprehensive information on courses and programs.
  2. Empowers and engages prospective students to tour MCO offerings, and dive deeper into course and program details.
  3. Opens the line of communication between student and the relevant institution, allowing for meaningful dialogue around next steps.
  4. Enables better control and easier import of key data, reducing errors and saving time.
  5. Places content management into the hands of site administrators — giving nontechnical users the ability to easily and instantaneously update their website.
  6. Provides the tools needed to track success and make data-driven decisions on the student acquisition process.
Questions? Email us.

Our Process

Our personalized approach starts by learning about your organization's challenges and goals. Then, we tailor a solution that is exactly right for you. Here's how we do it:

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    1. Assess

    Analyze how existing systems can be augmented with new technology to address your program/operational need.

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    2. Design

    Collaborate with you and your end users to define the optimal solution and user experience for your budget.

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    3. Develop

    Create, test, and deploy in a series of short “sprints” allowing you to the ability to provide feedback early and often.

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    4. Support

    Ongoing training and support
    to ensure sustainability as your program and/or operations scale.

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Looking to solve a challenge?

fivestar* creates technology solutions that prepare individuals and organizations for the future of work