Usher’s Nonprofit And IBM Are Offering Underserved Youth Free Tech Training

Usher’s nonprofit organization, Usher’s New Look, is working to make tech career paths more accessible for underserved youth.

Essence reports that Usher’s New Look teamed up with IBM’s SkillsBuild program to provide young people who are supported by the nonprofit with free tech training including in AI. IBM’s free global platform provides educational pathways and content, particularly focused on career prep resources.

“We serve more than 1,500 youth per year, and all the students we serve will have access to SkillsBuild,” said Usher’s New Look CEO and President Careshia Moore, according to Essence. “AI is being infused into every part of our lives, particularly the workforce. We want to make sure that our young people are prepared for what’s coming.”

IBM Vice President and Chief Impact Officer Justina Nixon-Saintil chimed in, “In the United States, we very much focus on partnerships like Usher’s New Look, where we can to bring the free training, the expertise from IBM, even job shadowing opportunities to the young people in high school, college, and adult learners as well, to make sure that they have these opportunities to move into a good paying job and be able to increase social and economic mobility.”

Moore explained to the outlet that partnerships such as with IBM fall under Usher’s overall mission to back the next generation.

“His ideas are implemented in the work that we do, and in fact, he coined this term culture of play that is often heard by our staff, lending to our overall impact,” she said. “We work hard but we strive to infuse joy into the process of problem-solving and addressing opportunity gaps and inequity.”

As previously reported by AFROTECH™, Usher’s New Look launched in 1999 and has helped over 50,000 youth. In addition to technology, the nonprofit exposes youth to programs focused on education, financial literacy/financial wellness, professional development, wellness, and mental health to advance their futures. In 2021, it received a $500,000 grant from Truist Foundation for its financial literacy programming. 

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