Usher’s New Look NonProfit Joins IBM To Build Tech Careers For Diverse Youth

Usher has joined IBM to create career paths in technology for diverse youth. The singer’s New Look nonprofit will help lead the partnership.

IBM’s SkillsBuild program will connect with students as a part of New Look and engage them in tech training. According to Essence, participants will learn how to navigate AI-focused programming.

“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 (UNL) CEO and President Careshia Moore, as reported by the news outlet. “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.”

Founded in 1999, UNL works with children and young adults to achieve career readiness and leadership skills. Their current students will take part in the SkillsBuild program for free as they also embark on professional development.

The program will offer courses in resume writing with generative AI, building one’s own AI chatbot, and AI prompting. Additional lessons will occur in job interviews and public speaking. Following the program’s conclusion, participants will have the skills to pursue a career in the evolving tech industry.

“It’s a privilege for IBM to join forces with Usher’s New Look in making a real difference for promising young learners from communities historically underrepresented in technology,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM Vice President & Chief Impact Officer, in a press release. “As AI continues to be a driving force in the workplace, we believe that IBM SkillsBuild is well-positioned to help students develop the technology skills they’ll need to succeed.”

AI use continues to integrate into the workforce and academia despite its own obstacles. With its expansion, the collaboration hopes to ensure diverse groups are familiar with and strengthen their skills with technological advancement.

She continued, “In the United States, we very much focus on partnerships like Usher’s New Look, where we can 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.”

The education program will launch for underrepresented communities in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Moreover, Usher’s New Look will begin incorporating SkillsBuild in its July Disruptivator Summit in Atlanta.

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