Yext, Inc. (NYSE: YEXT), the Search Experience Cloud company, today announced its collaboration with the City of South Bend, Indiana, to launch a special online job board portal, www.jobsprogress.com. The portal, part of South Bend's Jobs Progress Initiative, helps residents who are unemployed, furloughed, or working reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic by connecting them with regional employers and partners like Goodwill Industries of Michiana, which provides workforce development services, as well as WorkOne Northern Indiana, South Bend Regional Chamber, Ivy Tech Community College, and others.
Residents have the ability to search job postings on the portal, which is powered by Yext Answers, an innovative site search product leveraging advanced natural language processing (NLP) to understand complex questions. Whether they have a question about open positions, certain industries that are hiring, or employer safety precautions, they can enter it into the Yext Answers Bar on the portal and receive a direct, up-to-date answer.
The job portal is especially critical for South Bend, whose workforce has been severely impacted by COVID-19. In just four weeks between March and April, nearly 20,000 South Bend area residents submitted unemployment insurance claims — about three times more than the number received in all of 2019.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of life as we know it, and more than ever, people need answers — not just about their health and safety, but also about available job opportunities and employment resources," said Howard Lerman, Founder and CEO of Yext. "In this time of economic uncertainty, we're proud to help the City of South Bend and hope this effort gets more of their residents the information they need to get back on their feet."
"The development of the Jobs Progress initiative in a matter of weeks is a testament to the importance of public-private partnerships in providing effective services to residents," said South Bend Mayor James Mueller. "This resource, developed in partnership with Yext, will help our region connect workers to opportunities during these times of economic hardship."
"Within four weeks of launching a COVID-19 information hub for the State of New Jersey, we saw nearly 560,000 visits to the hub's job portal and 40,000 clicks to apply for jobs," said Brian Distelburger, Co-Founder and President of Yext. "It's clear that people are turning to their state and local governments for help during the pandemic, so we hope South Bend residents can now more easily find open opportunities and connect with employers in their area."
Over the past several weeks, Yext has demonstrated its commitment to helping government organizations at the local, state, and national level during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the City of South Bend, Yext has built Answers-powered information hubs for the United States Department of State (covid19.state.gov), the State of New Jersey (covid19.nj.gov), and the State of Alabama (covid19.alabama.gov).