Synchrony Partners with Community Groups on Digital Skills Initiative

11.09.2021
Workforce

Financial services company Synchrony is partnering with three Connecticut non-profits on an initiative aimed at helping underserved high school students develop digital and software skills.

The Stamford-based company is collaborating with educational and developmental resource group District Arts & Education, the University of Connecticut’s Engineering Ambassadors, and student resource group Future 5.

Twenty-five students will go through an eight-month training program with a blend of career assistance, technology training, and real-world experience.

An additional 25 students will participate in a summer immersion program. Synchrony will donate $300,000 to support the program.

Labor Shortage

This program is not the first Connecticut-based initiative Synchrony has sponsored.

The company invested $2.2 million in 2016 to promote cybersecurity research, and in 2019 donated $1 million in 2019 to help pay tuition for lower-income students.

“Access to skills training is essential to growing our digital economy and building a more inclusive future.”

Synchrony’s DJ Casto

In CBIA’s 2021 Survey of Connecticut Businesses, 80% of business leaders reported difficulty finding and/or retaining employees, and one-third (33%) said job candidates do not have the required skills or expertise for the jobs available.

“Access to skills training is essential to growing our digital economy and building a more inclusive future,” said DJ Casto, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Synchrony.

“Investing in these public-private partnerships will help unlock career opportunities for underrepresented youth and grow the next generation of Connecticut leaders.”

Nonprofit Partners

Each nonprofit will play a specific role in the program.

DAE, which has worked directly with Synchrony on other career development programs, will provide instructors for the courses, as well as career support such as mock interviews and assistance with college applications.

The program is part of Synchrony’s $50 million Education as an Equalizer initiative.

The Engineering Ambassadors will work directly with high school students to promote the program, encourage a career in the field of engineering, and mentor current students in the program.

Future 5 will connect students with local resources in the community as well as guide the students after they graduate from high school.

The program is part of Synchrony’s $50 million Education as an Equalizer initiative, made to “expand access to higher education, skills training in high-growth fields, and financial literacy for underserved communities and its own workforce.”

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