GBC Education launches national challenge to spark big ideas for youth employment

Press Release

Dell Technologies, Deloitte Support GBC-Education’s efforts for The Big Ideas, Bright Cities Initiative to Help US City Leaders Build Skills for Young People

New York / November 15, 2021: The Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education) today announced the launch of the Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge to drive innovation and creativity in skills building for young people. The challenge will award cash grants and in-kind business support to winners with the most powerful ideas to make their communities more “skills friendly” for young people. With support from Dell Technologies and Deloitte, GBC-Education’s challenge will help cities strengthen their existing career readiness and youth employment programs or launch new initiatives, to help ensure that young people have the skills necessary to enter into a meaningful future career.

Registered 501(c)(3) organizations in partnership with city governments, higher education institutions, businesses, and other youth-serving non-profits are eligible to apply for the challenge until January 31st 2022. Applicants that demonstrate innovative, sustainable, youth-focused ideas that increase skills and employment opportunities will be considered for invitation into a year-long community of practice where they will obtain additional guidance and support to launch or scale their big ideas as well as share resources and best practices.

“In the United States today one in ten young people is not in school, or not in work. That’s four million young lives that struggle to see a future,” said Justin van Fleet, Executive Director of GBC-Education. “In the years before COVID-19 pandemic, cities attracted a diverse, youthful, eager workforce inspired by the innovation and opportunity that comes with an urban environment. In the wake of the global crisis, many cities fell quiet, and young people from marginalized communities fell farther back. It’s time to re-imagine skills building for young people and get the next generation back on track in our cities.” 

The Big Ideas, Bright Cities challenge will provide city leaders with the opportunity to work with many of the world’s leading companies, including businesses focused on digital transformation. Participating cities will be selected on ten principles needed to create a “skills friendly” city. Winning cities will receive support to scale existing best practices or launch new initiatives. The initiative encourages collaboration among city leaders, youth-serving organizations, higher education institutions, and businesses in the application.

“A ‘skills ‘friendly’ city does more than just train its workforce,” said Jessica Anderson, Director of Strategic Giving, Dell Technologies. “It cultivates an ecosystem of elements like technology, access and education that set its people up for future success. The Big Ideas, Bright Cities Initiative brings together business, NGOs, governments and youth across various communities inspiring ideas to help more people participate in the digital economy.”

In announcing The Big Ideas, Bright Cities Initiative, GBC Education cited the radical transformation to a digital economy. This digital transformation requires the availability of very skilled human resources across all industries and in all cities. In the midst of these disruptions, city officials have kept looking for solutions to provide better opportunities for young people, often getting additional support from the federal government as part of the recovery plan. While cities have had to quickly adapt to provide remote learning, they mostly continued delivering yesterday’s education for tomorrow’s jobs, but more needs to be done. 

“Deloitte is proud to support the GBC-Education in its commitment to the future of youth,” said Kwasi Mitchell, chief purpose officer at Deloitte. “Preparing young people with career-building skills can lead to greater economic growth and more vibrant communities. 

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