Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2015) – The General Motors Foundation (GMF) and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will partner to expand GM’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and HHF’s Code as a Second Language (CSL) initiative in Austin, Dallas and Phoenix.
CSL is instructed by young programmers who are in HHF’s LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Network. Middle and high school students are introduced and taught coding over eight one to two-hour sessions in a relaxed environment in coordination with the schools and teachers while being exposed to tech professionals.
“Driving the CSL effort is the belief that all youth deserve access to technology-based programs and have an opportunity to enter the workforce in a stronger position which will help America move forward,” said Antonio Tijerino. “The General Motors Foundation share that vision and we are grateful for their leadership preparing our youth be innovators.”
Although there will be a need to fill 2 million tech jobs over the next five years, 90 percent of schools don’t teach coding. The CSL is designed to fil that gap. CSL is being implemented in up to 40 schools in 15 markets including the GM effort.
“The partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation is an investment in America’s next generation of scientists, engineers and change-makers,” said Grace Lieblein, vice president, GM Global Quality and GMF board member. “Hispanics represent an important facet of our business as the next generation of leaders and innovators.”
The CSL initiative is part of a recent $1 million GMF grant announcement made by Lieblein in early September to fund Hispanic education and STEM initiatives. These programs will help empower young Latinos to join the workforce of the future.
The CSL initiative includes: identification of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in collaboration with schools; baseline survey of students’ knowledge to test progress throughout CSL course; guest speakers from the technology industry; engagement of private and public sector volunteers; eight sessions; hands-on assistance for students working on course material outside of class time; soft skill development such as leadership and collaboration; work-based learning such as building actual products and presentation to peers; and certifications upon completion.
The students will also be funneled to LOFT Network for ongoing on-line instruction and will be connected to other students, mentors, networking, resources, STEM-related events, and later potential internships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies.
For decades, GM and its philanthropic foundation have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations across the country and around the world. These grants focus on advancing access to education through programs such as the Buick Achievers Scholarship, one of the largest programs of its kind in the country.
About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation inspires, prepares, positions and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. HHF’s award-winning LOFT (Leaders On Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program is divided into 10 “Tracks,” or fields including Innovation & Technology, Science, Healthcare, Engineering, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, Media & Entertainment, and Latinas. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and the LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University (Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org.)
About the General Motors Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.
FleishmanHillard for the GM Foundation