Aligning Education, Skills & Meaningful Jobs - IBM CSR, Research, Emb(race) and Skills Academy Communications Team
We are operating in a skills-led economy with a significant opportunity to close the skills gap in a manner that is equitable and develops a diverse pipeline of talent. In 2021, IBM accelerated and collaborated on a range of initiatives aimed at exponentially expanding access to affordable education models that map skills development to meaningful, well-paying industry jobs. Some examples include:
IBM’s Partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities:
- In September 2020, IBM established the IBM-HBCU Quantum Center, the first quantum education and research initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) aimed at growing a diverse and inclusive quantum workforce. In parallel, IBM made an investment of $100M in assets, technology and resources to our HBCU partners through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative; this program is focused on preparing students to lead the industry forward in a range of other in-demand roles, from AI and cyber to design thinking and beyond. In May 2021, IBM announced additional partnerships with several HBCU ecosystem leaders focused on expediting faculty and student access and released a new report entitled “Investing in Black technical talent: The power of partnering with HBCUs” to share best practices with other industries.
- These initiatives are now on 40 HBCU campuses serving hundreds of students with 330 Guest Lecturers and 250 faculty members. The IBM team expects to be engaged with all 102 HBCU campuses in the US by late 2022 or early 2023.
OneTen & IBM SkillsBuild:
- IBM is a founding member of OneTen, together with 37 other corporations we have committed to upskill, hire and promote one million Black individuals, without 4 year degrees, into family-sustaining jobs over the next ten years. IBM SkillsBuild, is a free digital platform for adults interested in pursuing in-demand roles in technology through user friendly, step by step credentialing and 1:1 mentoring. In June 2021, IBM announced a collaboration with Manpower Group and 30 other organizations to accelerate connections between job seekers and in demand tech industry jobs around the world. Given the pandemic’s impact on access to education, IBM also launched IBM SkillsBuild for Students, a free digital learning platform geared toward teens and teachers.
- IBM SkillsBuild, for adults, has 215,000 users, in 141 countries who have completed 341,000 learning hours; We have found many of our users who have no industry experience can be “job ready” and credentialed in 6 months. IBM SkillsBuild, for Students, has 425,000 users, in 142 countries, available in 9 languages. Students have earned 40,000 digital badge certifications to date.
Our Skills & Education Initiatives are a long term sustainable solution to staggering student debt, currently at $16 Trillion in the US, under-employment among today’s graduates and the urgency of closing the skills gap and accelerating pathways for diverse talent across all sectors. We believe these models will have a multiplier effect across communities and generations and underscore diversity as a competitive advantage and key innovation driver for the markets of tomorrow.