New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent announcement of 16 new “early college” technology-focused high schools based on IBM’s P-TECH model has implications far beyond state borders. A national study by the Brookings Institution concludes that half of all STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) jobs are “middle skill” positions requiring postsecondary training but not a four-year degree. And the U.S. Department of Labor reports that the American economy will create 14 million new middle skill jobs over the next 10 years – on top of the 29 million jobs that exist right now.
It has never been more imperative that we heed President Obama’s call to transform American education and strengthen our global competitiveness. Community-minded employers must forge partnerships with educators and governments, and strengthen the connection between education and jobs.
Read my op-ed in the Albany Times-Union for the full story about how visionary leadership and collaboration will help the nation’s young people realize their dreams for productive and prosperous futures.
Linda Sanford is IBM’s Senior Vice President for Enterprise Transformation.
New York’s educational system enters a new era of effectiveness with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement to create 16 new grades 9 – 14 joint high school/community college programs across the state. Each of New York State’s 10 economic development zones will receive at least one new school based on the model that has been so successful with the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in New York City and the Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy and other schools in Chicago. These new schools – each a partnership among the Governor’s office, The State University of New York, The New York State Education Department and its school districts, and IBM and a host of other companies – will represent a critical step toward bringing a new world of opportunity to the young people of New York State.
Graduates of the new P-TECH-model schools will receive both a high school diploma and a postsecondary associate degree in technology – preparing them to enter the rapidly expanding “middle skill” job market for people with postsecondary training, though not necessarily a four-year college degree. The curriculum for each school will be developed in collaboration with that school’s corporate partner. This unique combination of academic rigor and career focus has captured the attention of educators, employers and legislators across the U.S. – including President Obama, who called for more schools like P-TECH
in his State of the Union address; the City of Chicago, which opened five P-TECH-model schools last September; and New York City, which just announced plans to open five
When IBM joined forces with The City University of New York, the New York City College of Technology and the New York City Department of Education to create the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) – a new school with a strong career and technical education program – we knew we were witnessing an historic collaborative effort to close the job skills gap for New York’s students. Though initially small, P-TECH was destined to become a laboratory for learning that would benefit other school districts, corporations and – above all – young people. Like me, many New York City public school leaders had long embraced the concept of public-private partnerships like P-TECH that would strengthen our young people’s technical skills and give them a leg up in college and high-growth-area careers.
Now that the cloning of P-TECH is becoming a reality across our city, state and nation, with a strong endorsement from President Barack Obama, it is more than time to urge Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. More has to be done to prepare students with the kinds of technical skills that the labor market increasingly demands. A reauthorized and stronger Perkins Act can help accomplish that.
My favorite radio program in Boston is a Sunday morning show called Breakfast with the Beatles. Besides the music, I enjoy how the host shares with listeners the back stories on how songs were written. For instance, the song Hello, Goodbye was composed as John Lennon and Paul McCartney played a word game one day where Lennon would say one word and McCartney would say the opposite.
America will need many more public-private partnerships like P-TECH
if we hope to prepare our children for the demands of the “hard” and “soft” skills needed in the rapidly evolving global workforce.
I thought of the origins of the song as I composed this post on the “hard” and “soft” challenges facing the future American workforce. It is well documented that American students are not doing well in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines. More than 60 percent of American eighth graders are “less than proficient” in math and science. According to the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test – among the world’s most respected examinations administered by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – American teenagers rank 14th in reading competency, 22nd in science and 33rd in mathematics by the time they reach age 15.
While I certainly worry about the troubling performance by America’s youth in the quantifiable or “hard” subjects of math and science, what frankly worries me more is their lack of mastery of the non-quantifiable or “soft” skills.
IBM’s SmartCloud Brings Relief to Storm-Ravaged Areas
In the aftermath of one of the largest and most destructive storms to strike the heavily populated U.S. East Coast, IBM responded with pro bono consultants, strategies for both an immediate and long term response to disaster relief and recovery, and all of the technology and expertise needed to help establish the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Among the solutions donated to the fund and other key agencies in New York and New Jersey coping with the disaster was the SmartCloud for Social Business, which created the infrastructure necessary to launch immediate relief efforts, and will provide the cloud-based social collaboration tools that will sustain the fund during the long term recovery efforts.
“Because of IBM’s knowledge and expertise, the Fund is able to provide relief to New Jersey families and communities in an efficient and effective manner.”
– Hon. Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
This is just one of many initiatives described in IBM’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report, which outlines corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs aligned with the company’s Smarter Planet strategy to protect the environment, strengthen education and economic development, enable humanitarian research, and improve the quality of life in cities around the world.
When it comes to service, if you don’t have a youth strategy, you don’t have a strategy at all. For 27 years, Youth Service America (YSA) has tapped into the passion, creativity and ingenuity of young people, and provided them with the opportunities and tools to improve their communities through service to others. Through mobilization campaigns, funding, training and the provision of free resources, YSA calls upon children and youth to find their voice, take action, and create real change.
Each April, YSA convenes Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) to celebrate the contributions that young people make year-round, and to provide a highly visible and accessible on-ramp to service activities. We have just celebrated Global Youth Service Day 2013, during which we engaged youth in 2,700 communities around the world. Young people from all 50 U.S. states served side-by-side with youth from 135 other countries at this annual event – the largest service event in the world!
As part of a year-long observation of the fifth anniversary of the IBM Corporate Service Corps, the U.S. State Department convened hundreds of public and private sector
leaders to share perspectives on leadership development through citizen diplomacy.
Below, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Stanley S. Litow shares his thoughts on the importance of Corporate Service Corps to its constituents,
its participants, and to those who would pursue solutions to global societal challenges through citizen diplomacy.
Modeled on the Peace Corps, IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC) helps us focus the expertise and passion of our most talented executives and employees on creating real and sustainable value across a smarter planet. Each year for the last five years, CSC has sent 500 of IBM’s best people – along with employees from some of our clients – to more than 30 countries to help local stakeholders develop strategies to manage their toughest challenges. As the program marks its fifth year, we celebrate the more than 2,200 IBMers who have deployed on more than 750 team assignments around the world. In places like Ghana, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria and Vietnam, these citizen diplomats have worked alongside local governments, NGOs and residents to plan and develop programs to provide health care for poor women and children, create clean water and food safety initiatives, and build skills to help strengthen economies.
Corporate Service Corps delivers a “triple benefit”: Communities have their problems solved; Participants receive leadership training and development; and IBM develops new markets and global leaders. Some of IBM’s most skilled technologists, researchers, engineers, finance experts and consultants – working in teams of six to 12 experts drawn from more than 50 countries – contribute their unique skills and perspectives to each engagement. Each sets out to change their views of cultural differences as they collaborate to help solve problems in communities around the world.
This innovative idea that owes its inspiration to President John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps has evolved into a powerful force by harnessing the power of the public and private sectors to solve problems no single entity can overcome alone. The results have helped bridge the divides between cultures and geographies – broadening cultural awareness, advancing skills, and capturing the hearts and minds of the next generation of global leaders.
We look forward to the coming era of global citizen diplomacy as more companies answer the call to service. Working together, we know we can bring about meaningful change.
Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation.
With more than 300 sunny days a year, world-class ski resorts and golf courses, a diverse arts and cultural community, and an endless array of outdoor recreation and entertainment, Reno-Tahoe has it all. We have a chain of high-peaked mountains that surround the region in every direction. We’ve got high desert hills and low valleys covered with deciduous and evergreen trees. Among an eclectic mix of stately manors, quaint churches, sleek high rises, city parks and casinos, we have a river that casually flows through the heart of the city and is home to our famous Truckee River Whitewater Park. But what really sets us apart is a community spirit that makes anyone feel like a local and part of our family.
In the face of the recent economic downturn, the City of Reno and our regional partners have recognized the need for cohesive, forward-thinking economic development. We are committed to collaborating and ensuring business-friendly practices that will improve our public services along with attracting, retaining, and growing businesses. By doing this we will continue on our journey of revitalization.
Over the last several years, corporate citizenship programs have begun to refocus their efforts from “responsibility” to “opportunity.” In other words, companies now realize that they can affect positive societal results by applying time, talent and technology to the common (and uncommon) challenges faced by people around the world. By intertwining corporate citizenship with business strategy, companies can advance their business goals while bringing about real, sustainable change.
WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) recently bestowed their “Visionary Award for Shared Value” on IBM in recognition of our “outstanding corporate governance and corporate citizenship” efforts. IBM Director and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson accepted the award on our behalf.