The number of layoffs in the U.S. has skyrocketed as the COVID-19 crisis ravages the economy. At the same time, other companies, such as online retailer Amazon, have been hiring at a brisk pace.
Accenture and Verizon have launched a new initiative that aims to bring together the workers whose jobs have vanished overnight and the companies that may be booming in contrast. The new program, dubbed People + Work Connect, is “an analytics-based platform powered by Accenture,” the company said in a statement.
“Bringing these two groups together – connecting both sides of the jobs equation – is critical to get displaced people back to work fast,” said Accenture.
Julie Sweet, Accenture’s CEO, announced the initiative on Tuesday (April 14) along with Lincoln Financial Group, Verizon and ServiceNow. The companies’ chief human resources officers are donating their time to the initiative.
“This crisis has created massive job loss and people need help finding work,” said Pat Wadors, chief talent officer at ServiceNow, in a prepared statement. “Working together, we can quickly make a meaningful impact on the people who need it most.”
The service, which is free, is aimed at large companies that have about 100 jobs to fill or 100 available workers to place.
“While the current pandemic has been the impetus for People + Work Connect, we expect this type of collaboration to become the norm going forward,” said Christy Pambianchi, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Verizon. “Now is the time to build a more resilient workforce, for today and tomorrow.”
Such pronouncements indicate that the gig economy may be poised for rapid growth after COVID-19’s blow to a wide range of businesses. As reported by PYMNTS, “pre-COVID, roughly 48 million Americans had worked gig economy jobs, and fully 40 percent of U.S. millennials identified as gig workers.”
On April 21, PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster will lead a panel of experts from Payoneer, Roadie and Wonolo, who will discuss the future of the gig economy.