Best Buy today announced we’re committing $10 million to build a new network of opportunities for youth in disinvested communities in Los Angeles.
Called the Community Impact Hub, it was created in collaboration with founding partners The Annenberg Foundation and the Greater LA Education Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Los Angeles County Office of Education. This model will create up to 12 new Teen Tech Centers in the LA area by 2023.
The initiative builds on a five-year plan we unveiled last year to address underrepresentation, technology inequities and educational and career opportunities for those who need it most. That plan includes a commitment to build a network of 100 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers nationwide and reach 30,000 teens annually from disinvested communities.
We currently have 35 Teen Tech Centers across the country, including three in LA – one at the Bresee Foundation and two set to open later this summer at Legacy LA and Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation. This expanded network of 12 centers will help prepare at least 3,000 LA-area youth per year for industry career opportunities within their communities, including roles in music and film.
“A lack of opportunity and access prevents millions of young people — especially those from disinvested communities — from reaching their full potential,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said. “We’ve seen how one Teen Tech Center in a community can build brighter futures, by partnering with local Los Angeles organizations, we’ll be able to support even more youth pursuing their dreams, now and in the future.”
The Community Impact Hub will offer participants experience in high-demand careers in the creative and entertainment industries. Through partnerships with Fresh Films and the GRAMMY Museum, the Teen Tech Centers will give youth hands-on training in film, digital media, audio engineering and music production.
Best Buy has also partnered with the Entertainment Industry Foundation to develop career pathways for Los Angeles youth, including organizing paid internship placements at local organizations to best prepare them to enter the workforce. Compton-based Yetunde Price Resource Center will provide mental health and wellness programming.
Additional supporters of the Los Angeles Community Impact Hub include The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, JBL, Western Digital, Microsoft and Russell Westbrook’s Why Not? Foundation. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Office of Education will also be key partners in this work.
A commitment to ‘do better’
Our commitment to expand our network of Best Buy Teen Tech Centers and reach more youth is aimed at providing more access to technology and building a talent pipeline for jobs of the future.
As part of the broader $44 million commitment we announced last year, we also launched the Best Buy Scholars program to provide college scholarships that help reduce financial barriers for diverse students. That includes a focus on supporting those who are active participants at a Best Buy Teen Tech Center.
Additionally, we are increasing post-secondary support at our Teen Tech Centers, including trained guidance counselors and financial aid navigators. And because not everyone’s career path looks the same, we will also partner with community colleges, credential programs and tech bootcamps to create opportunities for teens to explore all types of post-secondary options that will prepare them for future success.