Last week our CEO, Courtney Williams, was invited to speak on a panel presented by JPMorgan Chase and YouthForce NOLA. Courtney was there to discuss expanding opportunities for young people in career and technical education in New Orleans.
YouthForce NOLA is an initiative that places high school students in paid summer internships with local companies. JPMorgan and Bloomberg Philanthropies are giving a combined $7.5 million over the next five years to the organization. Students are often not aware of the jobs available to them in a variety of high-demand industries such as healthcare and tech, and these jobs do not always require a college degree. YouthForce NOLA seeks to place students in these roles for the summer so the students can grow, learn, and make valuable connections.
Nearly one in five people in New Orleans ages 16 to 24 are neither working nor in school. This has an enormous negative impact on the economy. John White, Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education, emphasized that getting kids into college is important, but we should also give them other options. If the YouthForce NOLA model succeeds, JPMorgan Chase plans on scaling the model throughout the country.
As a company, we are dedicated to the redevelopment of the city and think education is a critical component. We hope our video observation platform makes an impact in classrooms across the nation, but we also want to make a difference in our own backyard. We have committed to hosting two YouthForce NOLA interns this summer. We hope to make their experience meaningful. On the panel, Courtney pointed out that having an internship at a minority-led company with a diverse team will help the high school students see the opportunities out there. Best of luck to our YouthForce NOLA interns, as they embark on what we hope will be a transformative summer!
For more information on YouthForce NOLA, click here.