Too Many Left Behind.
The gap between the needs of Houston’s business community and the workforce readiness of Houston-area youth continues to widen. Houston is the number three city in the nation for expected job growth, and by 2020, nearly two-thirds of local jobs will require some form of postsecondary credential. Many of these opportunities are jobs that pay above median wage. Yet only 10% of economically disadvantaged students in Harris County are graduating from high school college-ready. This creates a paradox in which companies cannot utilize the motivated, young talent in their own backyard —and too many Houston-area high school students are being left behind.
Pictured: Williams Interns: Kevin Silva, Jessica Lusekelo, Md Ishraque Mahmood, Marwa Rezk, Juan Benitez Ulloa and Ceilia Martinez-Taylor
A True Win-Win.
Since 2002, Genesys Works has been addressing this issue head-on, by creating access to work opportunities for high school students in underserved communities and preparing them for life after high school and beyond. Genesys Works has trained 2,500 students and placed 1,800 of these students in corporate internships, initiating a transformative impact on our community through our program graduates. Genesys Works graduates enroll in college at an average of double the rate of their peers and persist and complete postsecondary education at rates that exceed the national average. At the same time, companies gain skilled workers that provide immediate value to their bottom line while building their future talent pipeline—a true win-win.
Pictured: Evan Kirchen, VP of Engineering and Construction at Williams, with interns Shantaye Jones and Elvis Castillo