AT&T, with non-profit Year Up, is opening the door to internships across the U.S. for opportunity youth, defined as talented young adults seeking work who are underemployed or unemployed.
Nationally, there are an estimated 5 million young adults disconnected from stable career pathways and 12 million jobs requiring postsecondary education that will go unfilled in the next decade.1
At AT&T, we know these young people have talent and potential. So, to continue building a diverse and strong workforce, AT&T is tapping into that pipeline by committing to host 200 interns annually through Year Up by 2022.
"We need a dynamic and diverse talent pipeline to power our company — and the economy — into the future," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Inc. chairman and CEO. "Programs such as Year Up give young adults the experience they need to be career-ready and companies like AT&T the talent we need to succeed."
Year Up works to close the opportunity divide by providing young adults with the skills and experience top companies seek. The organization guides participants through a year-long program where they spend six months in the classroom and six months interning with a corporation. This combination prepares participants to be competitive in a quickly evolving workforce and positions them on a path to success.
In 2016, AT&T contributed $1 million to launch a Year Up campus in Dallas, and in 2018 hosted interns at Year Up sites in Atlanta, Dallas and Miami. We’re expanding with additional interns in 2019 to Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Sunrise, Fla., and our commitment to 200 interns is a nearly seven-fold increase over 2018.
Interns will work in a variety of positions, including retail, customer care, finance and external affairs. The expansion is part of the AT&T Aspire initiative, which provides access to education and training people need to get and keep good jobs.
“AT&T’s collaboration with Year Up is a clear sign of a broader commitment to inclusive hiring practices and transforming the workforce to create meaningful career pathways for all people,” said Gerald Chertavian, Year Up Founder and CEO. “I applaud their leadership in serving overlooked communities that help them gain the necessary skills and opportunities to drive change in communities and growth in their companies.”
One of those talented young adults is Julio Fumero, who completed his Year Up internship with AT&T in Miami in 2014. After demonstrating a remarkable work ethic and strong performance, he was hired as a full-time employee and plans to stay for the long-term, saying he wants to retire from the company.
“Without Year Up, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Fumero says. “The program taught me valuable skills that have helped me grow at AT&T — time management, writing skills, and teamwork. I feel like I’m finally on a path of success.”
AT&T’s commitment to closing the opportunity divide expands beyond our work with Year Up and includes collaborations with programs such as Per Scholas and Genesys Works. Through technology training and professional development, these organizations help young adults across the country pursue careers in tech-based industries where their skills will put them on a path to success.
1 Figures provided by Year Up.