This blog was posted on behalf of Karla Blanco. Karla is the Intel® Future Skills Scaling Manager for the Corporate Affairs Group and is dedicated to helping youth gain the technology and life skills needed for success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
We want to close the technology skills gap for disenfranchised youth. We want all youth be able to use technology to solve world problems, find meaningful employment, and succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
That is a bold mission, and one we do not take lightly, so you can imagine as we started working on plans to ensure this mission would become reality over a year ago we did a lot of research, collaborating, and white boarding to come up with some bold yet realistic pilot programs in workforce development. Powered by late night global collaboration calls, endless passion to give everyone an equal chance to reach their full potential, and a focus on real impact for participants, the Intel® Future Skills program, was born.
We started with a single prototype in North Las Vegas, where we identified a strong partner that would allow us to learn more about our target audience and continue to evolve our program. The first group of participants stepped into the Nevada Partners learning center November 1st, 2016 as nervous and excited as we were and we haven’t looked back.
Although the program is still very young, we are already seeing positive results and impacting the lives of youth. The graduation rate so far is over 80%, with over 65% of participants securing a job experience* and 25% pursuing further education. Jennifer Torres, Intel® Future Skills program participant shared “Life is about taking risks and doing anything to accomplish your dreams.” With that in mind, she was the first participant to complete a coding course, and she was always excited to learn more and often found herself ahead of the class and in a position to help others. In fact, when she got a job opportunity she mentioned she was part of the Intel program, explained the skills she had gain, and ended up getting an even better job offer than first anticipated.
As we continue to see the success of participants graduating in North Las Vegas, we are proud to be expanding Intel® Future Skills to more than 10 different cities in India, and in San Bernardino and Los Angeles, California. We have accomplished this while living one of our founder’s (Robert Noyce) most famous quotes: “Don’t be encumbered by history, go off and do something wonderful.”
We invite you to join us on the journey to close the youth technology skills gap through one of our Intel® Innovation Generation signature programs, Intel® Future Skills. The program team is fully committed to drive and deliver a program that provides opportunities for youth facing education or economic inequalities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We will continue to collaborate, brainstorm, and burn the midnight oil (when necessary) to adjust the program, expand its reach, and achieve our mission.
*A job experience is a common metric in workforce development that is defined as an opportunity to put acquired knowledge into practice such as getting a new internship or job, as well as earning enhanced responsibilities at a current job based on new skills and training.
Some of our favorite moments: