Changing Lives: More Than A Job

December 17, 2019


What you need to know:

  • For two decades, there have been more available workers than available jobs. That changed last year. Now, there are more jobs than people able to work them.
  • Influential companies such as Google and Apple are hiring employees with the requisite skills, with or without a degree.
  • One way to help young job-seekers is to provide them with the right skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Experts believe 21st century skills will be critical to face this new landscape.


You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. This is the type of Catch-22 that young people across the country are facing today. Although youth in America can’t buy experience, they can certainly be connected to meaningful opportunities to gain the skills which will help them achieve a viable career. In some cases, we don’t yet know what those jobs will be, so how we prepare young people today for the jobs of tomorrow becomes an essential question.


Jimmy went to Whitney M Young Magnet High School in Chicago, and during his senior year, he attended classes in the morning and went to his paid internship at American Osteopathic Association (AOA) every afternoon. Jimmy was able to get valuable work experience while still in school.

This experience was critical to set Jimmy on a path toward long-term economic mobility. He was interfacing with seasoned professionals, learning skills he wouldn’t capture in his school setting, and earning a decent wage. With a year of career experience under his belt, Jimmy graduated high school and emerged from his internship with confidence and poise – empowered to re-envision his future.

“I’d like to someday be a computer engineer, so the in-depth IT skills I learned at my internship are really important to me,” Jimmy said. His hands-on experience at AOA gives him a head start.


Students are often exposed to low-skill, minimum-wage jobs in high school, such as restaurant or retail. The challenge with such work experiences is that they provide little opportunity for professional development. Students risk entering the workforce lacking the professional and technical skills that are critical for success.

Early intervention in high school allows Genesys Works to train students and connect them to meaningful work, creating a better springboard for their future. We know work experience while still in high school paves the way for college and career success.


to turn an opportunity into a sustainable career for our next generation.

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