Funding from AT&T Aspire contributes to expansion and deeper community engagement
SAN FRANCISCO —April 9, 2015—Genesys Works – Bay Area, the innovative non-profit that engages economically disadvantaged high school students into professional career paths through workplace training and meaningful senior-year internships, today announced plans to expand offices to the East Bay. The non-profit will be opening a second training center at Kaiser Center in Oakland managed by Port Workspaces. The new location will allow Genesys Works to better serve its current and future East Bay students. More than half of the seniors in the program are from Oakland, while the other half are from the San Francisco, where the Bay Area office is headquarted.
AT&T Aspire announced in February a $3 million contribution to Genesys Works nationally to help support more opportunities for high school students to experience internships at top corporations in the US. Part of these funds made the East Bay office possible. The new contribution builds on AT&T’s Bay Area relationship with Genesys Works that began in 2012 with a $1 million contribution to bring the program to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ribbon Cutting Press Conference with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
The new Genesys Works Training Center will be located at the Port Workspace at Kaiser Center, 300 Lakeside Drive in Oakland CA, and will officially open in May. A press conference and ribbon cutting ceremony on will be held Thursday, April 9, 2:30-3:00pm with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
“AT&T is proud to support Genesys Works in their expansion to Oakland,” said Marc Blakeman, VP of External Affairs for AT&T and a founding Boardmember of Genesys Works. “Genesys Works gives students valuable work experience and creates a pipeline of diverse and motivated talent for Bay Area companies, AT&T included. It’s a win-win for all involved.”
More than 80 percent of Genesys Works’ students are from low-income households and represent the “quiet middle”— “B” or “C” students who require additional support to realize their full potential. Once accepted into the program, students receive technical and professional skills training and are placed at corporations like AT&T, Salesforce.com, PG&E and Peet’s Coffee & Tea for a 12-month paid internship in their senior year of high school. Working about 20 hours a week, these students gain over 1,000 hours of meaningful work experience, helping them to succeed on a path to college and a professional career.
Companies need and desire to hire a local and diverse workforce—but they want them to be trained and qualified. Genesys Works students learn technical skills along with soft skills for succeeding in business—how to dress professionally, give presentations, write proficient emails, contribute in meetings, learn interview skills, and how to work well in groups.
The program boasts a remarkable success rate: 95 percent of Genesys Works student interns enroll in college, and 86 percent of program graduates persist in higher education after their freshman year. Genesys Works currently serves students in Houston, Chicago, Twin Cities, and the San Francisco Bay Area, with a new location opening in Washington DC later this year.
“From the start, AT&T has been an emphatic supporter of our program, and the local communities we both serve,” said Peter Katz, Executive Director for Genesys Works – Bay Area. “With their help, we are thrilled to establish a physical presence in Oakland, which so many of our promising students and vibrant businesses call home.”
About Genesys Works
Genesys Works is committed to empowering economically disadvantaged high school students to enter and thrive in the economic mainstream by providing the knowledge and work experience required to succeed as professionals, changing the trajectory of their lives forever. To this end, Genesys Works trains and engages high school seniors in meaningful corporate internships at one of more than 150 major companies in Houston, Twin Cities, Chicago, and the Bay Area. The organization keeps them on track to graduate and prepares them for successful futures in a competitive marketplace.
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NOTE: Event photos available upon request