Genesys Works Twin Cities Projects over $4.6M Community Impact after Draft Day

August 21, 2019


Twin Cities

More than 300 high school students earn internships with Twin Cities companies such as Target, Medtronic, Allina Health, Cargill, and more.

ST. PAUL, MN — Genesys Works ( released today the highlights of the 10th annual Draft Day, a sports-style event showcasing its high school students and the companies where they will work during the upcoming school year.
Genesys Works placed 318 high school seniors into paid, one-year corporate IT internships at 56 companies throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Many high school students began their 20-hour work schedule just two days after Draft Day.

YouTube video

Since 2008, Genesys Works has continued to grow the number of students served across the Twin Cities, with more than 2,100 high school students completing training and earning a year-long corporate internship. The goal is to help young people from underserved communities see that a professional career is within reach.

At a culminating celebration last Tuesday, students, program staff, corporate partners and supporters gathered at the Saint Paul RiverCentre for Draft Day. More than 1,700 people attended the high-energy event, including St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Target CIO Mike McNamara, and York Solutions CEO Richard Walker. Jaime Flores, an incoming senior at Burnsville High School drafted to Best Buy, provided a moving keynote speech centered on his journey to and through Genesys Works as he prepares to become the first in his family to attend college.

“Our companies right now are all trying to figure out how to sell to a world-wide global, diverse, multi-lingual international audience,” said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “You must have a global, diverse, multi-lingual workforce so that you can connect with all your customer bases – we have what it takes in the Twin Cities to be that space… Making this connection is good for our young people, it’s good for the companies, and it’s certainly good for our metro-area.”

“Draft Day is all about preparing the workforce of tomorrow,” said Karen Marben, Executive Director of Genesys Works Twin Cities. “It was exhilarating to see corporate partners welcome our young professionals after eight weeks of skills training. By connecting these companies to our motivated students, we are building a more diverse workforce for the future.”

Additional Draft Day 2019 Highlights include:
• Students earn $13,000 on average with meaningful internship
• 51 Twin Cities high schools represented at Draft Day
• Target hosts largest class of 55 interns
• 91% students of color
• 50% female, 47% male, and 3% did not specify
• 77% first-generation college students
• $45-50K median earnings of employed alumni
• Video:


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, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington’s National Capital Region, and New York City. To learn more, visit

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