School may be out for summer. But for approximately 200 Houston-area high schoolers enrolled in Genesys Works’ 40 Days/40 Ways program, summer means getting down to business.
A longtime Enbridge community partner, Genesys Works equips and empowers high school students with the knowledge and skills required to achieve career success, upward mobility, and a lifetime of economic self-sufficiency through training, internships, and college and career coaching.
The intensive eight-week summer training program teaches students entering their senior year business, technical and soft skills, with the goal of being workplace ready and placed into a meaningful internship with one of Genesys Works’ corporate partners.
While completing their paid year-long internship, each student will also receive more than 60 hours of personalized coaching to help prepare for their future career path. Students may receive help with college selections and applications, certification training and placement, financial aid assistance or a new Career Accelerator pilot program.
“Our goal is to help our students gain a foothold in the economic mainstream,” says Peggy Rhoads, Houston senior director of development for Genesys Works. “Whether it’s through a traditional college pathway or through additional upskilling, credentialing and support, we want to offer them clear options so they can choose the path that’s best for them.”
In 2020, the summer program shifted to an all-virtual format due to COVID, which increased attendance and retention rates as transportation issues were effectively eliminated for students. On top of the increased rates, nearly every virtual networking event between cohorts and executive partners ran over its allotted time allowance.
Enbridge is committed to improving quality of life in the communities near our projects and operations, and we have a longstanding relationship with Genesys Works Houston. Since 2011, we’ve donated more than $50,000 to support 40 Days/40 Ways summer training, and supported more than 60 Genesys Works students with internships at Enbridge.
Genesys Works credits its program’s success to its strong soft skills building that focuses on networking and interviewing.
“We have found that direct interaction with students equals success,” says Rhoads. “Through networking with executives, students can see that you don’t necessarily have to be born into privileged circumstances to be successful as an adult. With hard work, determination, and lots of coaching and support, you can get there.”
With 19 years of programming under its belt, Genesys Works Houston has served nearly 3,200 students. Of those, 100% received high school diplomas, 92% enrolled in college, and 81% have either graduated from or are still enrolled in college.
On average, Genesys Works alumni have earned degrees at three times the rate of their peers and make an average salary of US$55,000 five years out of high school, which is often more than one or both of their parents.
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