Technology and communications companies are no strangers to competition or community involvement. So it’s no wonder industry leaders jumped at the chance to compete against each other for the good of Colorado’s young people by joining the JA Communications & High Tech Industry Challenge.
Participating companies have agreed to increase their student impact by 50 percent. This means that professionals from the technology and communications industries plan to impact at least 18,000 students this school year by volunteering to facilitate Junior Achievement’s proven K-12 programs. The real winners of this friendly competition are the students who will benefit from having a competitive advantage when they enter the workforce.
Junior Achievement volunteers from the communications and high tech industry share professional experiences with students, adding a real-world dimension to the programs. Significantly, a 2013 JA and ING US Foundation survey found that almost half (46 percent) of teens surveyed showed interest in pursuing a STEM or medical career, yet there was a 15 percent decrease from last year’s data. Despite interest declining, the United States Department of Labor predicts employment opportunities in STEM careers will increase by 17 percent through 2018.
The survey highlighted ‘passion’ and ‘area of interest’ as the number one factor guiding teens’ career choices. In order to spark interest among teens and build momentum for these growing fields, teens need assistance. They need role models and programs that will help guide them through these major life decisions.
“This industry can help drive U.S. competitiveness and innovation in the global economy,” said Robin Wise, president and CEO of Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc. “I applaud the organizations that accepted the challenge to join forces to educate our youth about how they can succeed in these high growth fields, and ultimately, create secure financial futures.”
To date, the following companies have accepted the challenge: Arrow Electronics, AT&T, CenturyLink, Comast, DIRECTV, IBM, Level 3 Communications, Linx, Sprint and Teletech.
To learn more about getting involved, visit https://www.jacolorado.org/industrychallenge/.