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Title: Implications for Supporting Marginalized Job Seekers: Lessons from Employment Centers
Rapid changes in technology are expected to limit the availability of decent work for millions of people worldwide. This particularly disadvantages socially and economically marginalized job seekers who are already being pushed into lower-wage precarious work with increasing levels of job insecurity. While the number of employment support tools that match job seekers to employers has been growing, marginalized job seekers still significantly rely on physical employment centers that have a track record of supporting the specific needs associated with marginalization and economic constraints. We drew from prior HCI and CSCW literature uncovering the employment and technology-related challenges that marginalized job seekers face and from the Psychology of Working Theory to frame our research questions and results. To complement this prior work, we investigated how employment center staff work with marginalized job seekers and moderate factors to securing decent work. We found in an interview of 21 employment center staff--career advisors and business services coordinators--that they performed significant work to prepare and encourage marginalized job seekers in applying to positions, while also training employers to be more inclusive and open-minded. Career advisors worked directly with job seekers to connect them with external resources, provide encouragement, strategize long-term goals, and mitigate feelings of stigma. Business services coordinators worked directly with employers to prepare job positions and employee support programs. Drawing from the expertise of employment centers, we contribute a framework for designing employment support tools that better serve the needs of marginalized job seekers, and outline tangible design implications that complement the support these organizations provide.  more » « less
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ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
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National Science Foundation
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