For decades, Yolo County has served its over 218,000 residents in northern California with government services delivered through physical offices. Constituents looking for career counseling and employment support, for instance, could visit one of the in-person satellite offices. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, offices closed, leaving the county struggling to provide real-time employment services that were increasingly essential.
To help residents on their road to recovery, Yolo County’s Health and Human Services launched YoloWorks!,a virtual portal connecting Yolo job seekers to Yolo jobs. The portal, developed with the help of Google Cloud and SADA, features a virtual appointment scheduler application, which helps job seekers easily connect with employment specialists. The portal also includes a 24/7 multilingual virtual agent, available to help with job searches, answer training questions, or facilitate a live meet with an employment specialist. To make it easier to connect virtually, the county also started a loaner device program, supplying Chromebooks to caseworkers and job seekers.
Yolo County’s virtual agent utilizes Google Cloud’s Dialogflow, a natural language processing platform that provides a conversational experience to users. The ability to reach multilingual communities was an important goal for Yolo County when planning their virtual services. With that in mind, they designed the virtual agent to converse with Yolo County job seekers in the region’s three most common languages – English, Spanish, and Russian. Residents can get information on training opportunities, locations of available jobs, and much more in their native languages. With these solutions, the county is able to provide the following services to local job seekers:
Job search assistance
Job readiness workshops
Resume and interview preparation assistance
One-on-one career coaching
Helping Yolo job seekers further career growth and development
Yolo County has also launched a Grow with Google program, helping job seekers acquire new digital skills and get on the fast track to in-demand jobs. Through the program, Yolo County job seekers can obtain Google Career Certificates at no cost. Certificates can be obtained by completing free training with Coursera on Data Analytics, Project Management, UX Design, or Android Development and other high-growth job fields.
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