Nation’s Job Readiness Deficit to Get Big Boost from Best Buy Support

By 2020, Best Buy will prepare one million youth annually for tech-reliant careers through a vastly expanded Teen Tech Center network, new Career Pathways program and heightened community-based efforts

MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy today announced that the company will substantially increase its commitment to under-served young people over the next three years. By 2020, the leading technology products and services provider will prepare one million youth a year for tech-reliant jobs through intensified training and career readiness programs.

Best Buy’s accelerated, multi-million-dollar commitment comes as the U.S. faces a rapidly rising shortage of labor qualified for tech-dependent jobsand community-based job readiness resources are on the decline.

“Our next generation faces a future that puts them squarely in the middle of a technology revolution, yet millions of these young people aren’t getting the support they deserve to make the most of their potential,” said Laura Bishop, chief corporate responsibility and sustainability officer at Best Buy. “We’re committed to helping many more under-served youth pursue future careers through tech tools and training early on, along with the career readiness support that can help them realize their dreams.”

Building the future, one life at a time.
College student Tarrance Cross’s passion for digital photography was fostered at the Washington, D.C. Best Buy Teen Tech Center, and it propelled him to pursue a career in photography.

“I probably wouldn’t have even gone to college without the Teen Tech Center,” he said. “I wouldn’t have found my passion for photography or even picked up a camera. Now I’m in school studying photography and graphic design, and even started my own photography business. My dream of becoming a photographer is coming true, bit by bit.”

Best Buy is intent on bringing Gooding’s experience to many more young people. The company’s heightened commitment means that by 2020, one million youth a year will be better prepared for tech-reliant jobs with substantial investment in these local community efforts:

  • Fivefold expansion of the Best Buy Teen Tech Center Network: Best Buy will grow its Teen Tech Center (TTC) locations fivefold, from 11 to more than 60 centers across the U.S., Canada and Mexico over the next three years, enabling nearly 20,000 teens annually to experience technology in year-round, after-school programming.
  • New Career Pathways Program Serving 2,000 Students a Year: Two-thousand young people a year will receive post-high school career readiness help, including internship opportunities and career mentorship, through a new Best Buy Career Pathways program. All 60 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers will have this program in place by 2020.
  • Increase in Foundation Grants and Programs: Since 1999, the Best Buy Foundation has donated more than $333 million in grants to local and national non-profit partners who provide educational resources to nurture success in a world filled with technology. By 2020, these grants will increase to reach nearly 800,000 youth annually. In addition, Best Buy will continue to expand outreach through its popular Geek Squad Academy program to help thousands of teens learn about technology through hands-on robotics, coding and other tech training.

For more information about Best Buy’s community programs, partnerships and tech education initiatives, visit https://corporate.bestbuy.com/community-relations-overview/.

 

1 Business Roundtable June 2017 “Work in Progress” Report