AT&T Helps Aspiring Young People Skill-Up for Career Opportunities in the Digital Age

By Peter Daly, Vice President, Global Service Management, AT&T
Oct 4, 2017 1:35 PM ET

Connect To Good

There’s a culture shift going on at AT&T as our business grows in technology, media, and telecommunications. It’s a culture of continuous learning to acquire new skills, so that we can create the talent needed to drive innovation across our company. We are investing in education and training to create a diverse and skilled workforce that will help power our company for the future. Through the AT&T Aspire initiative, we help provide access to the training young people need to get and keep good jobs.

I think nearly all young people have an innate sense of ambition. They are also generally familiar with technology. One of my goals is to help them channel these energies for success in school and their careers.     

Formal education is essential. But it’s a helping hand from a mentor that opens doors. Even if it’s a mental door flung open to provide the insight and confidence they need to chart their own career path. Mentors can be critical for those who don’t have a sounding board or source of advice in their day-to-day life. 

Many of my colleagues and associates at AT&T understand this. We want to help by sharing our own on-the-job experience and insights. We’re doing this by mentoring through AT&T Aspire. My team is active in 8 countries – Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Slovakia and the U.K. Last year, 426 employees in Europe mentored 5,306 young people. Activities included job shadowing and skills workshops. 

In Europe, we connect with students through JA Europe, Europe’s largest provider of education programs for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.  I am proud and delighted to accept an invitation from JA Europe to join its board. I’m even more thrilled to announce we’re stepping up our commitment to students by giving $500,000 to JA Europe for the 2017-2018 academic year.

We’re looking forward to repeating the success of last year’s mentoring programs.  Programs like Jong Ondernemen’s “Leader for a Day” in the Netherlands. It provides students the chance to job shadow a corporate executive for a full day.

In the Czech Republic, we invited young people to sharpen their STEM skills through a 24-hour youth hackathon. And in the U.K., we hosted an annual work experience week for schools close to our offices in London and Redditch. 

We mentored student teams of mini companies who entered national and regional competitions, like the Young Enterprise UK National Final 2017 in London. At the 28thAnnual JA Europe Company of the Year 2017 ceremony held in Brussels, we were a title sponsor for the “AT&T Excellence in IT Award.” I was delighted to present the award to “Demenish” from Denmark. They showed the best technologically innovative drive and strong business potential. Their winning idea? A configurable tablet and app designed to support dementia patients and their families in the management of their care and well-being.  

It’s students and programs like these that will help AT&T be a leader in technology, media, and telecommunications.