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Nearly 2,000 U.S. Students Start Summer Workplace Learning with IBM

By Obed Louissaint | SVP, Transformation and Culture
May 20, 2021

As societies begin to prepare for life in a post-pandemic world, now is the time to embrace newly imagined and more modern pathways into the workforce.

The last year might have created the illusion of our lives placed on pause, but even as the world weathered a once-in-a-generation event, businesses were retooling and reinventing themselves for a more digital future. And that future will rely on workers who are trained to keep our new global economy running smoothly.

To that end, IBM this summer will host nearly 2,000 U.S. students for an invaluable workplace learning experience because we understand that student work experiences are still crucial for career development and addressing the global skills gap.

According to the World Economic Forum, closing the skills gap could add $11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028. Education and workplace learning experiences, such as internships and apprenticeships, can help job seekers keep up with the new demands of labor markets that are challenged by technological disruption, demographic change, and the evolving nature of work.

To be sure, there will be many tech sector jobs to fill. The technology industry added 16,600 jobs in April, according to an analysis of the U.S. Bureau of U.S. Labor Statistics (BLS) data from IT group CompTIA, and this year the industry added 60,900 workers.

  • As part of our P-TECH (Pathways to Technology Early College High School) initiative, IBM will provide 1,000 paid virtual internships that students will pursue from 45 schools spanning the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Texas and more. This commitment is a 10x incremental increase from recent internship goals and is one way the company is taking action to advocate for social justice and racial equality. We believe advancing education, skills and jobs, can help to strengthen regional economies by targeting diverse populations to better prepare a workforce for "new collar" jobs — skilled, tech positions that don't necessarily require a traditional, four-year college degree. The P-TECH  model was first launched by IBM in 2011, and has been adopted in over 266 schools across 28 countries with over 150,000 students and 600 corporate partners.
  • We will also launch IBM Accelerate this summer where 1,000 students from diverse backgrounds will take part in a complimentary 8-week live, interactive learning and mentorship program. Successful applicants for the program can hone their skills in software development, client services & consulting, marketing & communications, design, hardware development, and sales. To help students succeed, they will be matched 1:1 with an IBM mentor. The curriculum is designed to prepare and position students for careers in the technology industry.

Participants will receive a digital badge in recognition of completing the program and the opportunity to apply for coveted IBM apprenticeships and internships. Students can also leverage their program experience to compete for similar positions at other technology companies, as they are not obligated to seek opportunities with IBM. Once students complete the program, they can add their credential to their social media profiles on career sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed.

We recognize that we need to actively carve out pathways for non-traditional workplace learning experiences to help make highly skilled jobs more inclusive and accessible to people from all walks of life.

These U.S. based programs were created to help level the playing field, create economic opportunity through skills, and build a technology workforce that resembles the country.

Obed Louissaint
IBM Senior Vice President, Transformation & Culture

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