Advancing Education for the Workforce: A New Partnership Between IIE and Alcoa

Are we preparing today’s youth to be successful in the workplace? I think that is a question that we as educators should be constantly asking ourselves. Getting a good (and hopefully international) education is not enough. We need to make sure that today’s youth are getting the skills and experience to create their own futures and be successful globally. This is one of the reasons I am so proud that IIE is partnering with the Alcoa Foundation to manage their 125th anniversary initiative to support internships for youth from around the Globe.

Alcoa Foundation will be providing over $1.25 million to support paid internships, training and mentoring to 500 students from eight countries around the world. Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld announced the program last week to mark the company’s 125th anniversary. According to the World Economic Forum, youth ages 15-24 comprise about 40% of the unemployed around the world. By providing these youth with targeted training and experience in the manufacturing sector, this program will provide opportunities for these youth to explore careers in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors.

IIE will serve as the managing partner for the initiative working with nonprofits in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Jamaica, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The nonprofits will design trainings, identify internships at small and medium manufacturers and arrange volunteers from Alcoa and other companies to serve as mentors. Through the program, participating youth will gain the skills and hands-on experience to launch successful careers in the advanced manufacturing sector.

For the IIE, this program marks the continuation of a long-term partnership with the Alcoa Foundation. Our partnership began almost 10 years ago with the implementation of Alcoa Foundation’s signature programs in the sustainability field. We also work closely with the Foundation to implement a Technical Education Program in Russia.

Feel free to read more about IIE’s new program in a recent article by the U.S. News and World Report.