Expansion will help fuel goal of tripling number of students served annually in greater Houston area
Houston, TX (Feb. 20, 2020) – Genesys Works (GW) today announced a grant of $400,000 from The George Foundation to improve career readiness for young people in Fort Bend County. The funds will support the organization’s mission of providing pathways to career success for students in underserved communities across the region by teaching them in-demand skills and connecting them to professional opportunities. GW will partner with Fort Bend ISD (FBISD) to target students enrolled in technology and business pathways in area high schools. GW internships give students the opportunity and experience to learn on the job while providing meaningful work to corporate partners.
“The George Foundation continues to invest in building out a local pipeline of opportunity for all Fort Bend students,” said Quynh-Anh McMahan, Senior Program Officer of The George Foundation. “To compete in today’s economy, educational institutions, industry and philanthropy have a chance to come together to support our youth in building the right skills at the right time.”
Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a priority for FBISD, where the James Reese Career and Technical Center, a state-of-the-art CTE center, opened in the fall, expanding career and technical education opportunities in the state’s eighth-largest district. The CTE department offers courses in sixteen different program areas at all high schools within the district. Middle school students have the opportunity to engage in exploratory CTE course work while in 7th and 8th grade for high school credit. Due to the lab space requirements of advanced courses in various programs, upper level courses are offered at Reese Center and are accessible to students from all high schools.
“Whether a student decides to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or chooses to pursue a two or four-year degree, our goal is to equip them with the right skills and offer them a pathway,” said Meredith Watassek, FBISD Director of CTE. “Genesys Works has a proven model in doing exactly that, and they’re right in our own backyard. We’re thrilled to welcome them to Fort Bend.”
GW’s 14-month program consists of 8 weeks of skills training focused on employability skills followed by a paid, yearlong internship with partner companies. In the Houston Metro area, GW currently partners with more than 50 major companies, including Accenture, CenterPoint Energy, Halliburton and Texas Children’s Hospital, where students perform a variety of business and technology roles across various departments during their senior year of high school.
“The business community absolutely has to be part of the solution to the skills gap,” said Alina Parast, VP of IT at Ecolab and member of the GW Fort Bend Advisory Committee. “By bringing Genesys Works to Fort Bend County, we can build a homegrown workforce while filling our talent pipelines.”
Recruitment began last month for the first cohort of students who will be trained in summer 2020. To learn more about GW and how to get involved, visit www.genesysworks.org/houston or contact Wendy Brooks, Fort Bend Site Manager for Genesys Works, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Genesys Works
Genesys Works provides pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships. Our program consists of 8 weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. Our goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve more than 4,000 students annually in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. To learn more, visit www.genesysworks.org/houston, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.