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OPA News Release: [10/27/2011]
Contact Name: David Roberts
Phone Number: (202) 693-5945
Release Number: 11-1568-NAT

US Department of Labor announces winners of online and mobile development contests

$68,000 in prizes awarded for innovative use of department data

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the winners of two contests, launched in July, for third-party developers to showcase innovative uses of the department's data. SymSoft Solutions in Sacramento, Calif., with its "Where are the jobs?" application, won the Occupational Employment Statistics challenge to help connect unemployed workers with promising careers. Rachel Moore in Alexandria, Va., won the "informAction app" challenge to empower consumer choices about the hotel, motel, restaurant and retail industries with her "Eat Shop Sleep" mobile application.

The first-place winners of each challenge received $15,000. Second and third place prizes and honorable mentions also were awarded. In addition, the "people's choice" category featured a $2,500 prize based on votes collected through the federal government's online contest portal at

"These contests tapped into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that has been the hallmark of America's economy for generations, " said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "I am so pleased that the Department of Labor's small investment was able to spur the creation of such user-friendly applications and to help better inform Americans."

Occupational Employment Statistics challenge participants created visualizations using data from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics to assist individuals in planning their education, considering a career change, moving to a new geographical area or negotiating pay and benefits.

Contestants in the informAction application challenge used compliance data from the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division to empower workers and consumers to make educated choices regarding the hotel, motel, restaurant and retail industries.

Developers were encouraged to be creative in their approaches and to use additional publicly available data. Submissions could utilize any kind of software tool, including those designed for the Web, a personal computer, a mobile hand-held device, a console or any other platform broadly accessible to the open Internet.

The contests were part of the Department of Labor's ongoing effort to increase transparency, participation and collaboration through the administration's Open Government Initiative. Visit for more information.

Editor's note: A list of the winners and prizes awarded follows this release.

Occupational Employment Statistics Challenge

First Place — $15,000

Where are the Jobs?
SymSoft Solutions, Sacramento, Calif.

Second Place — $10,000

Two-N. Inc, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Third Place — $5,000

Labor Wage Statistics
Joseph Blough, Chelsea, Mich.

Honorable Mention — $500 each

Occupation Wage Data
Shawn Holman, Hinesville, Ga.

Job Compass
Dele Olowoyo, Atlanta, Ga.

People's Choice — $2,500

Job Compass
Dele Olowoyo, Atlanta, Ga.


InformAction App Challenge

First Place — $15,000

Eat Shop Sleep
Rachel Moore, Alexandria, Va.

Second Place — $10,000

iCitizen Labor Report, St. Louis, Mo.

Third Place — $5,000

I.C InfoChoice
Palmera Technologies, Sterling, Va.

Honorable Mention — $500 each

Inspection Radar, Arlington, Texas

DOL Connect
Mobispectra Technologies, Sunnyvale, Calif.

What's the Beef?
Dave Patten, Seattle, Wash.

iDOL iPhone App
Ecce Software, Plainfield, Ill.

People's Choice — $2,500

Job Tracker, Washington, D.C.