December 18, 2019
Q&A: Investing in New York City’s Future Workforce
By Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist
Today, Salesforce is proud to announce two new investments, one to the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and another to youth workforce development nonprofit Futures and Options.
We sat down with Salesforce’s Chief Philanthropy Officer Ebony Beckwith to hear more about the news.
What are you announcing today?
Our philanthropic grants strategy is focused on investing in organizations and communities where our employees live and work. I’m happy to announce two new Salesforce grants to advance equity and opportunity in New York City, where Salesforce’s presence is growing.
First, I’m excited to announce that Salesforce is donating $500K to the New York City Department of Education. This grant builds on our existing partnerships with public school districts in the Bay Area, Indianapolis, and Chicago.
I’m also very excited about our $250K grant to Futures and Options. This workforce development nonprofit focuses on providing high school students with early career exposure and paid work experiences to succeed in a diverse and global world.
Why does Salesforce invest in education and workforce development?
At Salesforce, we believe in investing in Future Ready initiatives, providing young people with the education and work experiences to thrive in the 21st century.
These grants represent an important commitment to New York as part of this strategy and reflect our belief that equity, opportunity, and early career exposure are the keys to leveling the playing field and preparing a diverse workforce with the skills to thrive.
What’s exciting about the partnership with NYC Department Of Education?
The NYC DOE is the largest school district in the country. This is the fifth district partnership for Salesforce, expanding our company's philanthropic work with public schools to the east coast, where Salesforce recently opened a new Salesforce Tower.
This grant supports several key leadership initiatives in the district. This includes the roll-out of a new Graduate Profile, which will be developed in partnership with school communities and serve as the City's “north star” definition for the knowledge, skills, and experiences all public school students should gain by graduation. In addition, it will provide district leadership with resources to bolster their efforts ensuring equity and excellence across DOE schools.
By partnering with the DOE, Salesforce will now reach triple the number of total students we served in the past through our district partnerships, and we’re thrilled to bring this playbook to New York City.
What’s exciting about the partnership with Futures and Options?
With Salesforce's investment in New York-based youth workforce development nonprofit Futures and Options, we continue to support the professional development of young adults as they prepare for the workforce. The New York City Department of Education’s 2017 Work-Based Learning Toolkit, developed as part of a Mayoral initiative to strengthen and expand Career and Technical Education, notes that “there are one million middle skills jobs in New York City and 46% of New Yorkers lack the skills to fill them.”
Futures and Options provides early work experience to the young people of New York through a combination of engaging, relevant work-readiness training and paid, highly-supported work opportunities.
This grant will support Futures and Options in exploring different strategies to scale their impact through licensing their high-quality flagship program model and training other organizations to deliver it.