The Proof is in the Doing: The Digital Workforce Development Initiative Kicks off Across the U.S.

Our all-star panel of speakers in Richmond, CA.

Once upon a time, many people settled into a company and stayed for 20 or even 30 years. Today, the average worker stays in a job for 4.6 years (or just 3.2 years, if you’re a Millennial.) And while the freelancing hustle can be a tough dance to learn at first, the rewards — and the ability to spend more time caring for kids or other family members, or pursuing a hobby or passion — are better than ever before. It can be an empowering way to make a living and many out there are doing just that, either on Fiverr or through their own channels. The data proves it, too with over 110 billion dollars earned in 2017 by doers like you across America’s top 15 independent cities.

That being said, while it’s a lot easier to plug into the global economy from a major metropolitan area, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are tools available to everyone, regardless of ZIP code, to help drive freelance success (the Internet being the most powerful one of all.)

With that (and the democratization of creativity) in mind, we led the creation of a coalition called the Digital Workforce Development Initiative. Fiverr joined forces with career development-focused teaching platform Udemy and San Francisco-based non-profit Samaschool to bring upskilling, freelance training and marketplace access to job seekers in Richmond and Stockton, CA, as well as in Kansas City, MO. Partnering with the Mayor’s offices in each city, as well as with local economic development and workforce training arms, we worked to kickstart the DWDI.

DWDI’s goal is to provide training and support for specialized independent workers in the new economy. We do this by creating workshops, online training session, and opportunities for mentorship. This summer, close to 300 participants in three cities went through our training program. They joined us to learn how to monetize a passion, to gain the know-how and confidence to strike out on their own as a freelancer and to get insider tips on how to take their freelance business to the next level.

Many studies show the skilled gig economy is a significant factor driving economic growth over the past decade. We believe that it has room to grow bigger yet, especially by encouraging more women, more underrepresented minorities, and more low-income individuals to join our ranks. We’re excited about the work we’ve done thus far, and looking forward to opening up more opportunities in the future.

Want to know more about our Digital Workforce Development Initiative? Ask us in the comments below—and stay tuned for more opportunities for doers like you to learn the skills you need to succeed.

Sam Katzen
Sam runs Fiverr’s communications department, focusing on the policies, the products and the initiatives that drive Fiverr’s global community of doers.