Synchrony to launch digital skills programs for high school students in Stamford


STAMFORD – Synchrony, the nation’s largest provider of private label and store brand credit cards, has announced it will launch digital skills training programs for local high school students in 2022.

Starting early next year, 25 students will participate in an eight-month after-school training program and receive college and technology support for their careers. 25 other students will participate in a summer immersion program. Both initiatives will take place at the Fortune 500 company’s new competence center at its head office at 777 Long Ridge Road in Stamford, and recruitment is focused on students from Stamford High School, Westhill High School and the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering.

The new program is part of Education as an Equalizer, a company initiative of approximately $ 50 million over the next five years to support higher education, workforce training and financial literacy for its workforce and underserved communities.

“Access to vocational training is essential to develop our digital economy and build a more inclusive future,” said DJ Casto, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Synchrony, in a statement. “Investing in these public-private partnerships will help open career opportunities for under-represented youth and develop Connecticut’s next generation of leaders. “

To support the development and implementation of the new programs, Synchrony and the Synchrony Foundation will provide grants totaling $ 300,000 to the non-profit organizations Future 5 and District Arts & Education and the group of student Engineering Ambassadors of the ‘University of Connecticut.

“Future 5 believes there is a path to success for every young person,” Amanda Dubois-Mwake, executive director of Future5, said in a statement. “We help connect motivated young people to their community, to themselves and to the tools they need to unlock their full potential. This program will have a direct impact on our local high school students and the community in general, as well as on the businesses of Stamford. “

Through a program taught by DAE instructors, the first group of students in the after-school program “will tackle real-world projects and hone critical skills” in web development, UX design and data analysis, officials said. of Synchrony in their announcement of the initiative. . DAE will also provide career support to help these high school students and seniors apply for entry-level tech positions, prepare for interviews, or complete college applications.

“The Synchrony Skills Academy high school program aligns perfectly with our mission of bridging the gap between the corporate world of America and the needs and realities of underserved communities,” said AM Bhatt, co-founder and CEO of DAE, in a press release. “The opportunity to help reverse a decades-long trend of drastic under-representation in tech careers is just as important to us as developing the tech workforce and we’re excited to be working with Synchrony on this. double mission. “

Next summer, Synchrony and DAE plan to host an intensive eight-week program focused on web development and digital content creation for social media and marketing.

Synchrony employees and representatives of UConn’s engineering ambassadors will mentor students in the new programs.

“As engineers, we make things that help people and we try to change the world,” Justin Rastinejad, UConn Engineering Ambassadors vice president and chemical engineering graduate, said in a statement. “Through this partnership, we want to open the eyes of students to the opportunities available to them so that they can see themselves in the STEM-related industries and in doing so, teach them essential social skills and build their self-esteem. self.”

On Tuesday, Synchrony hosted a ‘STEM Immersion Day’ at the skill center where dozens of students from Stamford High, Westhill and AITE participated in group activities focused on coding, engineering and virtual reality. The skills center will be hosting another STEM day on November 11. Students must attend one of the STEM days in order to apply for the 2022 programs.

[email protected]; twitter: @paulschott

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