oDesk to Provide Online Work Training Through Connect to Compete

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.-- November 9, 2011 -- oDesk, the world’s largest and fastest-growing online workplace, today announced that it is committing online training resources to Connect to Compete, a non-profit announced last month by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, to help educate people in disadvantaged areas in the use of computers and the Internet. The effort to adequately train an online workforce and help individuals find contract jobs helps satisfy the need for seasoned workers, as the market for online work is expected to reach $1 billion in the next year (see separate release for details: oDesk Announces Record Number of Jobs and Contractor Earnings on World’s Largest Online Workplace). Through oDesk’s commitment, thousands of people will benefit from training to work online.

Despite local employment numbers that refuse to rebound, the number of jobs that are only available via the Internet continues to grow rapidly. Last month alone, more than 100,000 new jobs were offered online, and more than $22M was spent by employers hiring online workers through oDesk. This represents a unique opportunity for people in areas with few local job opportunities to access legitimate work via broadband Internet.

“We are delighted to partner with the FCC and Connect to Compete for the first comprehensive online training program of this kind,” said Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk. “Online work represents boundless opportunities for workers, regardless of their location, and as the world’s largest online workplace, oDesk is ideally suited to educate workers on how to succeed in this field.”

Created exclusively for Connect to Compete, oDesk’s program will provide free training to help workers take advantage of the thousands of online jobs created every month. Based on the company’s experience with more than 1.4 million online workers, the program will address:
•   how to create an online profile
•   how to market your skills
•   how to apply for jobs
•   how to communicate with employers online
•   how to build an online career

“The goal of deploying broadband networks to every American is vital. So is empowering every American who has access to broadband to adopt it,” said Chairman Genachowski. “Programs like oDesk’s that are being offered through Connect 2 Compete are designed to bridge the digital divide and bring educational resources, jobs and opportunities to America’s newly-connected communities.”

The training offered by oDesk will run alongside Connect to Compete’s national pilot programs, which are expected to launch this spring. 

Participating in today’s Connect to Compete announcement event in Washington, D.C., CEO Swart emphasized the job opportunities available online. Swart’s remarks from the event are below.

It’s a pleasure to be here today, and to lend my support to Connect to Compete. My company, oDesk, has witnessed firsthand the impact the Internet has had on the world of work.

Last month alone, more than 100,000 new job opportunities were posted on oDesk’s online workplace. Let me be clear: More than 100,000 new jobs were available online to anyone with the ability to access them, the desire to apply for them and the skills to complete the work.

One month. 100,000 new work opportunities. Available online on oDesk.

So far this year, employers have spent $179 million in our online workplace. They’ve hired writers, customer service people, artists and bookkeepers; any work that can be done at a computer.

As people across the country struggle to find jobs, online work presents an unprecedented opportunity for American workers to build their careers and regain financial stability, while staying in their homes and thriving in their communities.

That’s why oDesk is proud to support Connect to Compete, and why today we are announcing our commitment to provide comprehensive training for those work opportunities only available via the Internet. This training will guide workers on how to access, apply for and succeed at positions in the new online workplace. And each month, businesses on oDesk will put 100,000 new work opportunities within the reach of American workers, regardless of where they live.

About oDesk

oDesk (www.oDesk.com) is the world’s largest online workplace, enabling businesses to instantly hire, manage and pay a flexible online workforce.

With more than 1.4 million contractors, 100,000 new job opportunities each month and more than $179 million earned by contractors so far this year, oDesk has nearly doubled in size annually since 2005.

In 2011, oDesk was named the seventh fastest-growing company in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the 114th fastest-growing company in North America by Deloitte, and was ranked on the Inc. 500 for the third year in a row.

oDesk is a registered trademark of oDesk Corporation. Other trademarks used in this release are the property of their respective owners.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Erica Benton
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press@odesk.com
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