Nearly 1,000 U.S. P-TECH Students Start Summer Internships at IBM
Saratoga Springs, NY, June 7, 2021– The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how face-to-face interactions take place, but summer student work experiences are still needed for career growth, which is why Southern Adirondack P-TECH, a partnership between WSWHE BOCES and SUNY Adirondack, is proud that 15 of its students will be part of IBM’s 1,000 paid P-TECH interns this summer, with the aim of helping students gain critical professional and technical skills.
“The traditional pathways into highly-skilled jobs are changing for the better, becoming more inclusive and accessible to people from all walks of life,” said Obed Louissaint, IBM Senior Vice President, Transformation & Culture. “These U.S. based programs were created to level the playing field, create economic opportunity through skills, and build a technology workforce that resembles the country.”
According to the World Economic Forum, closing the skills gap could add 11.5 trillion dollars to global GDP by 2028. Education and workplace learning experiences like internships will help job seekers keep up with the new demands of labor markets that are continually challenged by technological disruption, demographic change, and the evolving nature of work. These internships will include learning financial skills and life skills like time management that encourage and support all students to visualize a successful career using technology.
Kim Wegner, Lead Coordinator for Innovative Programs at WSWHE BOCES, said, “These students should be so proud of receiving this internship. Choosing the P-TECH program takes a lot of dedication and hard work on their part. Earning this internship shows how well the P-TECH curriculum aligns with industry. It is really exciting for these students to take part in such an amazing program with IBM.”
Brené Choppa, Work-Based Learning Coordinator of ECCA and PTECH at WSWHE BOCES said, “I am extremely excited about the opportunity IBM is providing our students and happy to be a part of it. It has been an honor to witness how professional these 15 PTECH students have handled themselves through the entire process. To think these students at such a young age have their foot in the door of one of the biggest information technology companies in the world is AMAZING NEWS!”
Announced in July 2020, IBM is offering 1,000 paid virtual internships until December 31, 2021 to P-TECH students from 45 schools, spanning the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Texas, and more. This commitment is a 10x incremental increase from recent internship goals and is one way IBM is taking action to advocate for social justice and racial equality. Creating more equitable pathways for underserved people to acquire tech and professional skills by supporting a “skills over degrees'' approach has the potential to close economic divides that exist around the world based on race, antiquated class systems, prejudice, and more.
P-TECH (Pathways to Technology Early College High School) model, which was first launched by IBM in 2011 and has been adopted in over 266 schools across 28 countries with over 150,000 students and 600 corporate partners. This groundbreaking public education model helps address education access and workforce development challenges with each P-TECH school collaborating between a high school, community college, and an industry partner. P-TECH students can graduate with high school diplomas, tuition-free associate degrees, and workplace experiences, including paid mentorship and internships. The internships this summer will be all virtual.
IBM also created Open P-TECH in March 2020 to help bring the P-TECH model to more curious learners by providing modules for students and teachers that include free courses on emerging technologies and also courses on professional competencies, both leading to free digital badges that students can share on their online resumes. More than 295,000 learners and teachers in more than 140 countries have used the platform with 29,000 digital badges issued in total in subjects such as Artificial intelligence, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Data Analytics, Cloud, design thinking, Agile Methodologies and much more. It is now available in 11 languages