SAINT PAUL, Nov. 19, 2015 – The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) has named Genesys Works as the recipient of the 2015 Tekne Award in the Workforce Development award category.

Held November 18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Tekne Awards honor companies and individuals who have played a significant role in developing new technologies that positively impact the lives and futures of people living around the world.

“Technology is responsible for some of the most monumental changes in society today, and Minnesota continues to contribute to these advancements,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president and CEO of MHTA. “We are honored to recognize Genesys Works for its proven leadership and commitment to science and technology innovation in Minnesota.”

The Workforce Development Award honors innovative approaches to training workers in transition or youth with technology skills and successfully matching them to jobs that meet the needs of Minnesota companies.

Genesys Works does just that. Genesys Works trains low-income high school seniors in professional and technology skills for eight weeks during the summer. Students are then placed into paid, year-long internships and work around 1,000 hours their senior year doing meaningful work for companies.

This fall, 232 students, more than 90 percent students of color, were placed at corporations including Target, Medtronic, Ecolab, Deluxe and 3M. Companies see it as a way to diversify the workforce and create a pipeline of future tech workers. Genesys Works sees what they do as a way to close the opportunity gap.

Genesys Works also provides college counseling for their students. One hundred percent of Genesys Works – Twin Cities students have been accepted to college.

“These are students who often don’t have support at home, people saying ‘here’s what you need to do to start preparing to get into college’ or ‘here’s how you find a meaningful part-time job,” said Karen Marben, executive director. “We really see a transformation in these students over the year.”

About Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA)

MHTA is an innovation and technology association united in fueling Minnesota’s prosperity. We help bring together the people of Minnesota’s technology ecosystem and lead the charge in directing technology issues to Minnesota’s state capitol. MHTA is the only membership organization that represents Minnesota’s entire technology-based economy. MHTA members include organizations of every size − involved in virtually every aspect of technology creation, production, application and education in Minnesota.

About Genesys Works – Twin Cities

Genesys Works – Twin Cities is a 501(c)(3) social enterprise that connects underprivileged high school students to meaningful work opportunities for college and career success. Since 2008, Genesys Works – Twin Cities has placed more than 1,000 students into paid technology internships.

Media Contact

Joe Cudzilo, Marketing & Communications Manager

Work: 651-789-0088, Cell: 605-360-4274

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