Grants to USA nonprofits in multiple states for technology career pathway programs for underserved youth. Programs will include training, credentialing, work-based learning, and job or internship placements. Eligible locations include Phoenix, Arizona; Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; New Orleans, Louisiana; Boston, Massachusetts; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; Jersey City, New Jersey; New York City, New York; Las Vegas, Nevada; Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Dallas, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, DC.
Required eligibility criteria include:
- Providing curriculum and training for Best Buy Teen Tech Center staff to implement career pathway program at the local level.
- Creating a toolkit for the career pathway program that would be able to be implemented by the Best Buy Teen Tech Center staff.
- In collaboration with Best Buy Teen Tech Center, recruit local companies/subject-matter experts to provide work-based learning experiences for youth, including internships/jobs.
- Attending quarterly national partner calls to exchange best practice, consider collaboration efforts and share resources.
- Driving the partnership by taking initiative to set-up additional meetings with Best Buy staff to ensure grant deliverables are being met.
- Demonstrated track record in engaging youth at the local level who have been disconnected from education and careers.
- Commitment to diversity and inclusion.
- Opportunities for local Best Buy employees to participate in the program as volunteers.
- National nonprofit organizations with multiple locations nationwide to allow for current or future programming in a variety of cities across the country.
- Ability to conduct programming in at least 1-5 cities across the country. Preferred locations include the locations of our Best Buy Teen Tech Centers, including but not limited to: Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Jersey City/NYC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle and Washington D.C.
- Desired programs will have the following components:
- Rigorous tech-related curriculum, mentorship, and hard skills training for youth over a 9-12-month period (programming must take place for a minimum of nine months);
- Use technology to develop skills in a wide range of track areas: 3D design, arts (must include tech components), augmented reality, automotive (tech components), coding/programming, computer repair/help desk, cyber security, entrepreneurship, graphic design/photography, digital marketing/media, digital music/audio production, gaming design, mobile apps, multi-media production, retail, robotics, software engineer, video/film production, virtual reality, tech in fashion, tech in sports, etc.
- Align training with regional labor market needs to ensure youth gain relevant skills and engage youth in work-based learning opportunities (i.e. job shadows, career panels, etc.);
- Engage youth in an internship/job opportunity at the end of the career pathway program.
- Grantees are expected to participate in and/or support evaluation efforts including interviews with key program staff, youth participant surveys (including collection of consent forms from participants’ parents/guardians), and internship/job supervisor/employer surveys.
- Success metrics will include: developing skills for tech-reliant jobs; achieving a degree or credential with real value in the current labor market, gaining employment with self-supporting wages, and/or having opportunities for further education and career advancement.
- Best Buy will provide college readiness and soft-skills curriculum to be used at all Best Buy Teen Tech Centers. The curriculum will be an overlay onto all career track curriculum.
Other preferred program components include:
- Pathways from high school to post-secondary/tech-related nationally-recognized credentialing programs;
- Opportunities for dual enrollment/college credits for underserved teens completing high school; or
- Offer digital badging as a credential for engaging in the career pathway program.