Technology And The Effects On Youth

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Generally speaking, when you read a headline about “youth” and “technology,” you expect to read something along the lines of the top five social media networks that are most important to teens, or how they use their phones to connect with their personal networks. What you may not know is that there’s a group of teens that use technology in a different way – they are using it to change the trajectory of their lives. Through Genesys Works, disadvantaged high school students who are typically shut out of today’s workforce are trained in professional and technical skills – skills not normally taught in the classroom.

Growing Skills Gap. The disparity between what students are taught in the classroom and what’s needed for success in the workplace continues to widen. As a result, millions of entry-level jobs go unfilled each year because young adults lack the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to succeed in these roles. The majority of new high-paying jobs will be STEM-related, and yet low-income students are ten times less likely to attain a STEM degree than their high-income peers.

Unexpected Talent Pool. While the current problem is the growing divide between available skillsets and today’s workforce needs, we are also seeing a growing number of companies looking to an unexpected talent pool to fill entry-level positions: youth from programs like Genesys Works.  

Employers such as AT&T, Accenture, and Salesforce are partnering with Genesys Works to develop their workforce talent pool through this unlikely, but successful source. And why is that? It’s because we offer a proven model that transforms the lives of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds while providing valued services to Fortune 500 companies. We accomplish this through a unique combination of skills training and meaningful work experiences. Our program consists of eight weeks of technical and professional skills training, where students learn important workplace skills such as the use of Microsoft Office. This training culminates in a year-long paid internship. Genesys Works’ students are hired into entry-level IT positions where they are responsible for things like help desk support, PC setup, and project management support. This is all made possible through partnerships with organizations like Microsoft.

Microsoft recently awarded Genesys Work a technology grant valued at $1.17 million to upgrade our technical training infrastructure. This software donation enabled us to expand and strengthen our technical training for the economically-disadvantaged students we serve. Training on the latest software technology provides students with relevant, in-demand skills that lead to expanded career opportunities in the technology field.

Partnerships with Proven Results. It’s through partnerships like the one with Microsoft that we can transform student lives today while building a more skilled workforce for the future. 100% of our students graduate from high school. 94% go on to enroll in college. 79% have either graduated or are still enrolled in college. That’s real change. That’s real impact. That’s technology for good.

To learn more, read our press release.

Genesys Works is a non-profit social enterprise changing the trajectory of life for disadvantaged high school students through meaningful work experiences. Our program consists of 8 weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. Our goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve more than 2,000 students annually in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. To learn more, visit www.genesysworks.org.

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