by Adriana Martinez, Director of External Affairs, AT&T
AT&T is a longtime champion and supporter of increasing educational opportunities in diverse communities, including the Latino community. We take our commitment to diversity seriously and have made significant contributions to increase opportunities for Latinos who desire to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
While Latinos make up approximately 16% of the U.S. workforce and are responsible for half of the nation’s population growth from 2000-2012 , they make up just 3% of the workforce in the tech sector. AT&T has recognized the need to invest in a well-educated workforce in order to increase this number of Latinos in tech, especially when approximately one in five Latino students still attend high schools where graduating is not the norm.
To improve the graduation rate for all high school students, AT&T launched the AT&T Aspire initiative with a commitment to investing $350 million in education from 2008 to 2017. An estimated 1 million students across the country have benefited from AT&T Aspire and the program remains committed to achieving a goal of 90% graduation rate by 2020.
In Southern California, AT&T is making significant investments in education and are working in collaboration with organizations who are creating opportunities for Latinos who want to pursue a career in the technology field including:
- Contributing $300,000 to Proyecto Pastoral to increase graduation rates and college success for at-risk youth in Boyle Heights.
- Supporting the League of United Latin America Citizens (LULAC) Institute to upgrade its “Empower Hispanic America with Technology Centers” including the center located at CARECEN in Los Angeles.
- Collaborating with the Boyle Heights Technology Center to host 20 young women from Los Angeles to participate in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program to equip and empower teenage girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.
- Collaborating with Avion, Sabio.la, HOPE and the Latino Startup Alliance to host a day-long tech Boot Camp to encourage young Latinas who want to pursue careers in technology and become tech entrepreneurs.
Increasing access to quality education and opportunities in the technology sector is a significant issue in California and many underserved communities across the country. Investing in education and promoting diversity are top priorities for AT&T. We will continue our commitment to increasing educational success and providing opportunities in the 21st Century.
AT&T was the primary sponsor of the 21st Century Cities & Schools Latino Policy Forum held at Cal State LA on June 6, 2015. AT&T is working closely with the SOCA Latino Policy Center to educate local Latino elected officials on technology issues.