Gary Sinise recently penned an article in the Huffington Post. Perhaps best known for playing wounded veteran Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump, the actor and philanthropist is also an amazing stage actor and a founding member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. But it’s the Lt. Dan role that changed his life, inspired a band (yes, the Lt. Dan Band,) and made him a supporter of and an advocate for America’s veterans. In the article, Sinise makes the case for training veterans for high-end manufacturing jobs. His group, the Get Skills to Work coalition, is designed to help connect veterans to colleges and companies across the country, looking to train individuals in the manufacturing field.
Sinise is right. America needs skilled people to do these jobs and veterans with the right training would be excellent candidates. But why stop at manufacturing? The same case should be made for helping veterans learn digital skills and computer programming. Now is the time to put resources and support behind training veterans for the most in-demand jobs through adult learning programs.
Obama and Biden not only embrace technology, they plan to invest in high-tech training. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
With nearly one-third of Americans now holding bachelor’s degrees, the level of college completion in this country is at an all-time high. Yet, according to the federal government, by 2022 the United States will fall short by 11 million the necessary number of workers with postsecondary education, whether bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, or vocational certificates. More importantly, we could face a gap between the skills learned in the classroom, and those needed to do in-demand jobs.
As General Assembly continues to grow, one of the initiatives that I’m most excited about is Opportunity Fund, which offers scholarships to underrepresented groups in the tech industry to participate in GA’s Web Development Immersive. GA is a global community of individuals empowered to pursue the work they love, and I am passionate about finding new ways to open our doors to diverse individuals around the world.
Today we are announcing the pilot of a very exciting new program, which we are calling the Opportunity Fund. Our initial partners, Microsoft, Google, Hirepurpose and Nas (yes, the rapper), have all offered up generous scholarship funds to help veterans, women, and minorities become less underrepresented in the tech industry.
Ever since we founded General Assembly, we have held our community as the central element of our identity and values. As we’ve grown, our definition of community has expanded from NYC to other cities, and even to other continents. We have relentlessly pursued our mission to “create a global community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love,” but we know there’s a ton of work to do along the way.
Earlier this month, a group of GA students in Washington, D.C. took part in a Hackathon hosted by Partnership for a Healthier America. Participants were asked to prototype and build a working solution focused on the theme of Childhood Obesity, exploring two opportunities within that challenge:
To help teachers empower students to make healthy choices about the food they consume, whether at home or at school.
To create an information avenue that shows families the healthy food options and physical activity opportunities available locally.
This winter, we teamed up with LaunchPad LA, Cross Campus, and Los Angeles Venture Association to offer a select number of $2,000 scholarships to our full-time Web Development Immersive program at our brand-new campus in Los Angeles, California. After pouring over thousands of applications, we are excited to present the five winners who will be embarking on a 12-week journey to become full-stack web developers.
We love a good party around here. And when it’s a party for something we believe in, we take it pretty seriously.
We recently joined forces with Sherpaa to throw quite the bash in an effort to increase access to education in high-need communities via Pencils of Promise. PoP focuses on building strong structures and sustainable education programs throughout Laos, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
The soiree took place at SOAKED, one of NYC’s newest rooftop venues above the Mondrian Hotel in SOHO. Signature drinks, great music, and a picture perfect view of the city made for a memorable summer night for all.
Half of all the proceeds went to PoP to help build a school and spread education in Guatemala. We’ll drink to that.
And no, you’re not seeing double. Our party hosts aren’t twins, but might as well be.