Jobs for the Future to Help Unlock P-TECH’s Future in the US and Canada

By | 3 minute read | July 1, 2022

For those like me who believe in lifelong learning, I always welcome the chance to foster excellence and growth through engagement with others. That’s why I take great pleasure in welcoming the renowned nonprofit Jobs for the Future (JFF) as it takes on a new role as a steward for evolving the IBM P-TECH education and career readiness model in the U.S. and Canada.

As many of you know, P-TECH is an open education model that provides public high school students from underserved backgrounds with the academic, technical, and professional skills and credentials they need for competitive STEM jobs.

What makes the addition of JFF particularly exciting for me is that JFF shares the P-TECH ethos, vision, and practice of driving sustainable change in education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement. As an organization whose members live and breathe this mission every day, JFF is committed to supporting P-TECH. In fact, JFF plans on enhancing the work of P-TECH partners to spark even deeper, bolder innovation, including curating the P-TECH school network and providing on the ground support.

In this new partnership, JFF will be providing IBM P-TECH schools with strategic advice, on-the-ground support, advocacy, and network expansion — support that IBM historically was providing in the U.S. and Canada. This means that JFF will increase the opportunities of P-TECH students, help local leaders and partners learn from each other, celebrate successes, and inspire and empower them.

Since its creation, IBM has been and remains firmly committed to P-TECH and we will continue to serve as an industry partner across the 80 schools worldwide where we fill that role today.

10+ years of P-TECH: What a journey!

IBM has always been committed to preparing students and workers for the opportunities that come with new eras of technology.

That’s why, more than 10 years ago, we co-created P-TECH as an open, inclusive, career readiness model, together with the NYC Department of Education and City University of New York. Since its 2011 launch, the program has grown to include over 300 schools (including the 80 of them where IBM is an industry partner) affiliated with more than 600 industry partners. In addition, IBM has provided more than 1,000 paid IBM internships to P-TECH students in the United States.

But this story is not only about scale; it’s really about successful learners and outcomes. For example, across the 18 P-TECH schools in Dallas, Texas, three quarters of the inaugural P-TECH class earned an associate’s degree (the national average for on-time associate degree attainment is 13%). A study of New York P-TECH students showed that at the end of two years of high school, 42% had passed the ELA Regents exam with a score qualifying them for enrollment in CUNY courses, compared to 25% of peer group students.

IBM’s commitment to P-TECH and the future of work

Over these years, we have documented successful stories of volunteers, interns and apprenticeship from the IBM-affiliated P-TECH schools and we cannot wait to see what the future will bring with JFF stepping-in.

Jamira, Mentor
“If you ever have the opportunity to take somebody under your wing and help them navigate life, in general, work or whatever situation, don’t miss that opportunity because it can change somebody’s life.” Read more

Suyhalia, Intern
“In my guidance counselor’s window, it said, ‘Free college, internships and more,’ and a big ball of light illuminated in my brain. P-TECH is focused on giving opportunities to those who wouldn’t naturally have them. I feel empowered.” Watch

Shekinah – Apprentice
Shekinah was inspired to learn more about technology after taking a cybersecurity course. She says that you “can never stop learning.” Read her story

 

In addition, IBM will continue to offer IBM SkillsBuild  to students and teachers at P-TECH schools worldwide to enhance their skills and existing school curricula. IBM P-TECH is also one of the programs that builds on our commitment to skill 30 million people globally by 2030.

I think the best way to know someone is to hear directly from them. I invite you all to get to know more about our new partner, JFF, and its philosophy and vision in this interview.