In 2014, Microsoft Corporation committed to deepen its partnerships with Year Up and Junior Achievement via its YouthSpark program by expanding internship, job shadowing, and infrastructure engagement, respectively. Partners will contribute to this commitment by implementing high-quality, locally relevant, and future-thinking career training programs. Year Up empowers low-income young adults to transition from poverty to professional careers in a single year. Junior Achievement works to turn kids of today into the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Each organization is uniquely positioned to support youth from communities across the U.S. to be successful in their future endeavors.
Microsoft Corporation will support a modest expansion of the Year Up student interns to be hosted for 6 months at Microsoft corporate headquarters. The addition of 15 interns will open up more possibilities for program graduates to enter into real-world career opportunities, thus expanding our lasting impact with Year Up and their program graduates. Further, Microsoft will work with Year Up in Washington State to pilot the creation of a pipeline of talented Year Up program graduates who should qualify to become employed at Microsoft retail stores as Customer Service Advisors, or in similar roles. With the real-world job and customer service skills that young adults learn during their time in the Year Up program, Microsoft sees potential in supporting a pilot effort to help match these young adults with open Customer Service positions at our retail locations.
Junior Achievement (JA)
Microsoft Corporation will host JA Jobshadow programs at retail store locations across the U.S. This effort will expose JA students to real-world technology and careers. The Jobshadows will include information about the importance of technology as a core part of any career, including those in retail. More than 2,500 students will receive real-world career exposure via Job Shadow effort with Junior Achievement.
YouthSpark summer camps
Microsoft Corporation will expand availability in YouthSpark summer camps at our retail stores, which will introduce youth to technology and computer science training and activities in a fun, interactive way during the out-of-school/summer months. More than 18,500 students will benefit from technology education via YouthSpark summer camps at Microsoft retail stores.
Microsoft will contribute grant funding, employee time and talent, as well as internship resources (which will vary by group and location) to these programs.
Microsoft also commits to engage other businesses on the importance of youth employment through joining a multi-business working group on U.S. youth employment, and hosting panel discussions on the global youth employment challenge at the Making Cents Conference in October 2014 and the Independent Sector Conference in November 2014.
July & August 2014 - YouthSpark summer camps active at Microsoft stores (across the U.S.)
July 2014 through June 2015 - Year Up interns are hosted at Microsoft (ongoing)
July 2014 through Dec. 2014 - Year Up retail job pipeline pilot is created, activated
Sept. 2014 - Renewed program support and specific details are determined between Microsoft and grant partners
Jan. through May 2015 - Junior Achievement Jobshadows occur at Microsoft stores (ongoing)
June 2015 - YouthSpark summer camps reactivate at Microsoft stores (across the U.S.)
Today's youth face an opportunity divide, a gap between those who have access to the skills and training they need to be successful and attain employment and those who do not. With millions of unemployed youth around the world, we must work together to close this divide and secure the future of our youth and of our global economy. YouthSpark is a Microsoft program that aims to connect youth to opportunity in the form of employment, entrepreneurship and education and training.
YouthSpark efforts in the United States partner with nonprofits with a national presence and leverage the local Microsoft retail stores to provide site-based work experiences for participating youth.
This CGI commitment to action seeks to expand the impact of Microsoft's job shadow and career training opportunities in collaboration with key YouthSpark nonprofit partners and Microsoft retail stores. This initiative is designed to benefit youth in U.S. communities nationwide via YouthSpark summer camp workshops and the job shadow program in partnership with Junior Achievement. Further, they seek to deepen their partnership with Year Up in Washington state, Microsoft's corporate hometown, with an expanded internship program and a pilot effort to create a job pipeline for Year Up program graduates.
Microsoft provides the YouthSpark Hub as a central resource which includes a host of resources including training to empower young people through technology and skills training, and provides programs which support opportunities in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. In addition, Microsoft makes our technology broadly available through donation to nonprofit organizations to support the delivery of their services and support their overall infrastructure.