Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott Announce AT&T to Donate $1.6 Million to the Fund for Public Schools to Expand Software Engineering Curriculum in High Schools

November 13, 2013

Program will Expand Access to Tech Education for 1,200 Students Each Year and Create Internship Opportunities for Students

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced that AT&T will donate $1.6 million to expand software engineering curriculum for students in 12 New York City public high schools across the five boroughs. The contribution to the Fund for Public Schools builds on the work of the Software Engineering Pilot and will support the launch of a new enrichment program for 9th graders, paid summer internships for high school students and other academic activities like boot camps and hackathons. The initiative is a next step in the Administration’s work to develop programs that provide students with skills they need to thrive in college and to enter the computer and engineering workforce. The Mayor and Chancellor made the announcement at the Urban Assembly Gateway for Technology School in Manhattan, where the programming will begin next year. They were joined by Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball and AT&T New York State President Marissa Shorenstein.

“Over the last decade we’ve shifted the landscape of public education in New York City by creating hundreds of new schools and innovative programs to prepare students for college and careers,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This new partnership will provide even more students with computer science and software engineering instruction and also give them the opportunity to be part of the growing New York City tech sector.”

“Today’s announcement is another important step in the Bloomberg Administration’s efforts to ensure that our public school students are prepared with the skills that will allow them to succeed in college and beyond,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “By developing this talent at the earliest stages, New York City will continue to establish itself as a center of innovation, and our economy will be well-positioned to grow and thrive well into the 21st Century. I would like to applaud AT&T for their strong commitment to the future of our students as well as the future of our entire City.”

“After more than 40 forty years in which not a single new CTE school had been created in New York City, more than two dozen have opened since 2003, in response to rising demand from students, parents and communities for these options and the importance of graduating our students so they are ready for college and 21st century careers,” said Schools Chancellor Walcott. “In 2013 alone, seven CTE schools opened in the City, including the new Bronx Academy of Software Engineering and two new 9-14 schools that focus on the energy and healthcare sectors. With the investments we have made in these new high performing schools, we are setting our students up for success like never before.”

“Our economy is transforming and will require a workforce with advanced skills and experience in technology and software engineering,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T. “AT&T has been at the forefront of innovation and providing resources for STEM-related initiatives in schools is a cause we are eager to support. We are thrilled to help New York build on its impressive work to expand STEM opportunities to more students, and want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott for their leadership in making tech a central part of moving our schools forward.”

“Because technology is an increasingly important part of our economic landscape across every sector, we are promoting innovation in order to strengthen New York City’s economy for years to come,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball. “By equipping New York City students with technological and entrepreneurial skills, we are working to prepare them to succeed in the modern workforce and to become the innovators of tomorrow.”

“As outlined in Mayor Bloomberg’s Digital Roadmap, investing in STEM education and connecting students with internship opportunities in the tech sector are critical to supporting the next generation of engineers,” said Rachel Haot, New York City’s Chief Digital Officer. “The expansion of software engineering curriculum in the City’s public high schools will benefit not only the students who will be better equipped for their future careers, but also New York City as a whole by furthering its progress as the world’s leading digital city.”

The support for the Fund for Public Schools is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s $350 million commitment to education. With more than 1 million students impacted since its launch in 2008, Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

The contribution from AT&T will support the Software Engineering Pilot expansion for students at New York City public schools, which include Academy for Software Engineering in Manhattan and Bronx Academy for Software Engineering

Specifically, AT&T’s contribution will support:

  • Freshman Enrichment Program beginning next summer in the 12 schools to prepare students for a tech-focused curriculum and enhance reading, writing, mathematical and information technology skills. This six-week program will target students entering 9th grade, who will receive high school credit for completing the course. During the program, students use an online tool to develop an electronic portfolio and career plan, using the tools and information at their disposal to: explore skills, abilities and interests; gather information about career opportunities, use student-generated information to develop resumes, cover letters and career plans and design their own comprehensive career plan aligned with State Career Development and Occupational Standards. About 100 rising 9th graders from each of the 12 schools will participate – for a total of 1,200 students each year.
  • Paid Internships for students at participating high schools to help students gain work experience and develop professional networks in the technology sector.
  • Bootcamp Events including hackathons, app challenges and career building activities for students in the software engineering programs offering them opportunities to meet and learn from one another, build connections and compete to receive prizes.

According to New York State Department of Labor, the need for qualified employees with highly developed skills in software engineering will outstrip demand for employees in other traditional high-tech occupations in New York, such as computer programmers and support technicians, by the year 2018. High-tech industries, as well as industries such as health care, finance, and education, are rapidly being transformed by the usage of complex software-based systems that organize and analyze increasingly vast amounts of data. Ensuring that students are adequately prepared to enter these industries is an economic imperative for New York City that requires a substantial investment in computing and engineering education for all students.

 

Contact:

Marc La Vorgna / Jake Goldman (212) 788-2958

Erin Hughes (DOE) (212) 374-5141

Marybeth Ihle (MOME) (212) 669-7742

Lauren Passalacqua (for AT&T) (212) 561-8730