Synchrony to launch digital-skills programs for Stamford high school students | #education | #technology | #training


STAMFORD — Synchrony, the country’s largest provider of private-label and store-brand credit cards, has announced it would 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-career assistance. An additional 25 students will participate in a summer-immersion program. Both initiatives will take place at the Fortune 500 company’s new skills center at its headquarters at 777 Long Ridge Road in Stamford, and the recruitment is focusing on students from Stamford High School, Westhill High School and the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering.

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

“Access to skills training is essential to growing our digital economy and building a more inclusive future,” DJ Casto, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Synchrony, said in a statement. “Investing in these public-private partnerships will help unlock career opportunities for underrepresented youth and grow the next generation of Connecticut leaders.”

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

“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, themselves and the tools they need to unlock their full potential. This program will help directly impact our local high school students and the community at large, as well as companies in Stamford.”


Through a curriculum 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 analytics, Synchrony officials said in their announcement of the initiative. DAE will also provide career support to help those high school juniors and seniors apply for entry-level technological roles, prepare for interviews or complete college applications.

“The Synchrony Skills Academy High School Program perfectly aligns with our mission to bridge the gap between the world of corporate America and the needs and realities of underserved communities,” A.M. Bhatt, DAE’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “The opportunity to help reverse a decades-long trend in radical underrepresentation in tech careers is just as important to us as the development of the tech workforce and we’re delighted to collaborate with Synchrony on this dual mission.”

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

Synchrony employees and representatives of the UConn 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, a vice president of UConn Engineering Ambassadors and a chemical engineering major, said in a statement. “Through this partnership, we want to open students’ eyes to the opportunities that are out there so they can see themselves in STEM-related industries, and in the process teach them critical social skills and build their self-esteem.”

On Tuesday, Synchrony hosted at the skills center a “STEM Immersion Day” 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 host another STEM day on Nov. 11. Students must attend one of the STEM days to be eligible to apply for the 2022 programs.

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; twitter: @paulschott



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