San Jose, CA – On Friday, May 20, Genesys Works – Bay Area announced an innovative partnership to scale its program and bridge the opportunity gap in Silicon Valley. The local non-profit is teaming up with Google, PwC, JPMorgan Chase, and other Silicon Valley business leaders, and with the East Side Union High School and San Jose Unified School Districts to provide underserved high school students with meaningful year-long IT internships and get on track to pursue college and careers in tech. Peter Katz, the organization’s Executive Director, was joined by Mayor Sam Liccardo, Assemblymember Nora Campos, Superintendent Chris Funk and Assistant Superintendent Jason Willis, and leaders from local businesses at the Grand Opening of their 1 Almaden Boulevard office yesterday.
Mayor Liccardo praised the program, saying: “It is important that we create pathways for more San Jose students to pursue a career in the tech industry and the great opportunities these jobs offer. By matching motivated students with leading Silicon Valley businesses, our students can see what they can achieve through hard work and our companies gain access to a diverse, talented pool of local workers.”
Genesys Works’ winning formula is investment in students who might otherwise not have a clear path to college and career with an 8-week intensive summer training program. The training teaches students IT skills paired with professional skills, like public speaking and how to thrive in a business setting. Students emerge as confident young professionals and earn a year-long paid work placement at leading companies like AT&T, Google, and Salesforce. Ultimately they realize that they can defy the statistics and thrive in the region’s dynamic economy.
Thompson Nguyen, a junior at Evergreen Valley High school, just got accepted into the program. He said: “Words cannot even begin to express how joyful I am right now. To have been accepted into such an amazing program is a great opportunity for me and I’m sure many young students out there like me.” Through the Genesys Works program, 100% of its interns have graduated high school, with 95% matriculating to college.
“By investing in underserved youth through professional training, mentoring, college assistance, and meaningful internships relationships with Bay Area corporations, we are inspiring change in young lives, the business world, and our local community,” said Peter Katz.
“Genesys Works is changing the life trajectory of economically disadvantaged students in our Bay Area schools. It’s not just a win for the students who would otherwise not have these opportunities, but companies also benefit from a diverse, motivated, and cost-effective workforce,” says Justin Steele of Google.org.
“AT&T has used GenesysWorks students in cities across the country,” says Marc Blakeman, Vice President of External Affairs for AT&T. “These students are more than a summer intern who might file and fetch coffee – they are given real projects that have a real impact to our bottom line – in some cases working on projects that have derived hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings to the company. AT&T managers look forward to their new crop of GenesysWorks students each year, knowing they come trained with the skills needed to dive-in on real-time work issues.”
“Economic success is increasingly out of reach for too many of our young people who are not exposed to clear pathways to good jobs,” says Marice Brown, JPMorgan Chase Managing Director for Asset Management. “Yet our clients around the world are telling us they can’t find job applicants with the proper skills to fill their open positions. We are delighted to partner with Genesys Works to help build a bridge between employers, job seekers, educators and training providers.”
Amity Millhiser, PwC’s Markets and Sector Leader, said: “I am so proud to be here today, representing the board, and PwC with other local business leaders who are committed to changing the course of the future for our young people and our community. As we know, it takes a village. We are so excited to welcome Genesys Works to the village of San Jose.”
Founded in Houston in 2002, Genesys Works has successfully scaled to multiple geographies—Twin Cities in 2008, Chicago in 2010, and the Bay Area in 2013. It has served 8,226 students, partnered with 108 companies nationwide and been recognized by President Obama and Forbes Magazine as leaders in social innovation.
A 1052 square foot office at 1 Almaden Blvd will be Genesys Work’s new San Jose home. The expansion is funded in part by the Tipping Point Community, Ron Conway Family Foundation, Westly Foundation, Google, PwC, Peery Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and Greenlight Fund.