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KIPP Austin Public Schools' KIPP Through College Program Featured in the Austin Business Journal

 

Viewpoint: Tapping homegrown talent is good for business

More than 110 people are moving to Austin each day, creating an amazing hub for economic development. But this phenomenal growth brings a host of challenges, such as increased traffic and escalating housing costs.

A key solution to these challenges may
not be to rely solely on the influx of out-
of-town talent, but to train and build on
the strengths of individuals who are born
and raised here in Central Texas.
Numerous studies show that native
workers have greater longevity in jobs,
which means lower costs for local companies. By finding pathways for our college graduates from Central Texas to enter the workforce, we can help build Austin’s long-term economic growth and stability.

Bazaarvoice is committed to partnering with one local program that provides this pathway. The Future Focus Internship Program places high- performing college students who have their roots in Central Texas in internships at companies across town, including Bazaarvoice, Accenture, Whole Foods, NXP Semiconductors, Kendra Scott and dozens more. The interns are first-generation college students, almost all from low-income communities here in Central Texas, and are enrolled in Breakthrough Austin, a local college-completion nonprofit, or the KIPP Through College program. First-generation college students from low-income communities often lack a personal network to land that perfect internship and cannot afford to accept unpaid positions. Future Focus takes a unique approach and provides students with the foundation for a successful career after college graduation, close to their families and cultural bases, while creating an educated and diverse workforce for us and the rest of the community. The Future Focus program, Breakthrough and KIPP are making a difference by:

Enabling minority, first-generation college students to graduate at much higher rates than their peers
Providing internships that complement their academic learning and provide visibility into their future career

Offering authentic learning into workplace culture and the norms of professionalism — valuable lifelong skills
Providing access to a professional network and relationships critical to a professional career here in Austin

To date, Future Focus has placed more than 300 interns in more than 80 companies across Austin. We could not be more proud of the talented young people who have interned at Bazaarvoice through this effort, and we believe that having talented local interns who represent the diversity of Austin makes Bazaarvoice a better company. Like many others around town, Bazaarvoice is pushing to diversify its talent base and develop a committed workforce with roots in Austin, and we believe the Future Focus program is a key partner in our efforts to do just that.

There are many other forward-thinking companies who have committed to partnering with Future Focus to develop their future workforce and customer base. Join us in this effort by agreeing to take on an intern who may not otherwise have that chance. You will not only receive the benefit of enthusiastic, hardworking interns who want to make a difference, you will be making an investment in Austin youth. We will renew our commitment to Future Focus next summer and we won’t be alone. More than 90 percent of companies renew their participation each year. Join us in creating the future Austin workforce and in building the long-term economic health of the region.

Gene Austin is the CEO of Bazaarvoice Inc. 

 

 

About KIPP Austin

KIPP Austin Public Schools is a network of 10 free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools educating 5,000 students in Austin.  It is also part of the nationally recognized “Knowledge Is Power Program” network of charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and in life.

For more information or for media inquiries / requests, please contact the KAPS Communications Manager, Hector Leiva (512-569-5866 or hleiva@kippaustin.org).