New Executive Director Mike Gross, a 20-year education reform veteran, will lead the workforce development organization’s expansion to New York City with support from AT&T
Houston, Texas — Genesys Works, a national social enterprise that provides life-changing, paid work opportunities to high school students from underserved communities, announced today that it has named Mike Gross as a new executive director to lead the program’s planned expansion into New York City. Gross brings decades of experience leading and managing efforts to close the skills and opportunity gaps that often prevent disadvantaged youth from achieving their full potential.
Mike spent the last 20 years leading and managing efforts that help students from low-income communities succeed in public education while also improving the systems that often fail them. Before joining Genesys Works, he was the East Coast Executive Director at Springboard Collaborative, an organization that works to close the literacy gap, where he was responsible for establishing district and network partnerships, fundraising, and driving regional vision and strategy.
In his role, Gross will work to secure the local corporate, community and financial partnerships that will enable the successful launch of a Genesys Works program in New York City later this year and spearhead its growth in the years that follow.
“Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to improving the educational and economic outcomes of youth and families from low-income communities,” Gross said. “I see great potential in Genesys Works’ plans for expansion into the New York City area and am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring my experience to this endeavor.”
AT&T is providing anchor support for the new site through its $500,000 Aspire contribution to Genesys Works. The telecommunications company has been one of Genesys Works’ strongest supporters since 2012, and the latest contribution brings their total investment to more than $6.5 million.
“At AT&T, we have witnessed time and time again the profound impact that the Genesys Works program has on the students it serves,” said Mylayna Albright, AVP-Corporate Social Responsibility, AT&T. “The real-world experience through meaningful internships changes a young person’s life trajectory. It equips them with the skills to thrive in the workforce of tomorrow. Because of this, we are so proud to continue to support Genesys Works and have great confidence in their expansion efforts driven by Mike Gross’ leadership.”
The Genesys Works program includes eight weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. To date, 100 percent of students who participate in Genesys Works have graduated from high school and 95 percent have gone on to enroll in college as the next step on their path towards career success. A recent social return on investment study (SROI) by Columbia University calculated a $13.46 economic return to society for every $1 invested in the Genesys Works program, a powerful testament to the value of its programming.
“With the support of AT&T and other visionary philanthropists, we are able to continue expanding our program to help more students find career success and access college. Mike Gross’ leadership will be instrumental in furthering our mission as we look to expand into New York City,” Rafael Alvarez, Founder and CEO of Genesys Works, said. “We are thrilled to have someone of Mike’s caliber join our team and eager to put his abundant skills and energy to work on behalf of the countless students that will benefit from the work-based learning experiences we provide.”
CONTACT: Allison Kopp