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New Member Spotlight – “We Are EACE” – Meet Jill Pajak, Employment Coordinator, Stevenson University

EACE has been asking new members to share some fun facts about themselves. Here we get to know Jill Pajak from Stevenson University.

What do you do in your current position?
I am the Employment Coordinator, so my job is to connect the students with employers to get them hired.

Where are you originally from?
Baltimore, Maryland

Where do you live now?
A tiny town called Hampstead, Maryland

Outside of work, what are some of your favorite things to do?
My favorite thing right now is called “Lunch Around the World” where I invite my family and friends over once per month to celebrate a different country’s cuisine. We all have to make a recipe from scratch to share with the group. So fun and educational!

Why do you do what you do?
My number one value in the workplace is “making a difference.” I feel like I do this every day at Stevenson. My team works really hard to connect our students with the exciting world of work!

What is your educational background?
I have a BA in English from Towson University (Towson, Maryland) and I’ve started taking courses toward an MA in Human Resources Development.

What was your first job?
Counter Girl for a local pizza joint.

What is the best advice you ever received?
Don’t ever ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.

For someone starting in your field, what advice would you give?
In higher education, you gotta bring passion. None of us are in it for the money. We’re here to make a difference in students’ lives. So listen to the needs of others and try to make connections where they make the most sense.

What is something that might surprise us about you?
I was the Homecoming and Prom Queen of my high school. I’m still so humbled by that. Never saw it coming.

Radio Ga Ga

By Lauren E. Creamer, M.S., Wentworth Institute of Technology

WIRE – “Radio That Doesn’t Suck”

When I startedWIRE Logo at Wentworth Institute of Technology two years ago I never thought I’d be producing a radio show. Actually. I never thought I’d be producing a radio show.

But here I am. Mondays at 1 PM. Riffing with some of my favorite colleagues and talking careers.

Let me back up. Wentworth has this hip, totally accessible, award-winning radio station called WIRE (Wentworth Internet Radio). WIRE only lists a handful of their awards on their website, but every year they rake in the trophies – including, most recently, Best College Radio Station in Boston by Boston A-List. The coolest part about WIRE is they let staff and faculty in on the fun.

Enter my office, CO-OPS + CAREERS.

WITworks Radio

In an effort to get our message/advice/guidance out to the student body in a new and engaging way, our fearless Director signed us up for an hour a week. I can’t recall exactly how I was roped into this, but it’s definitely got something to do with my inability to keep my thoughts to myself.

How do you even manage a radio show?

We started out haphazardly. We’d brainstorm topics at lunch before our show – things that were relevant to whatever was happening that semester/month/week.

Then we started to bring in employers. This was a turning point for us – Google and Raytheon – these are our most-listened shows! (I guess that should have been obvious). Students can tune-in live, but they can also listen on-demand through the WIRE Mixcloud page. The numbers keep climbing and so we keep scheduling. To make it easier for everyone – when an employer requests on-campus interviews, we ask them to be on the show. Since then we’ve added four new employer interviews and no one has yet to turn us down. (And, everyone who has been on has been really excited about doing the show!).

Our summer plans: develop a schedule based on the office cycle of busy and quiet points, and the co-op season. We just completed a show idea brainstorm with the staff and I hope to poll our students, too.

Getting Your Message to the People

If you have access to a radio station on your campus (and the students are willing to let you on air) – definitely consider trying this out. Don’t have a radio station? Try podcasts. Or Facebook Live. (Check out Brandeis and their Hiatt Live videos… Career Cab is my favorite).

Bottom line? Try some out-of-the-box ways of getting your message to your students. They’ll start listening and you might just have some fun, too.

To listen to our show, check out this link and search “WITworks Radio”: https://www.mixcloud.com/WentworthRadio/

Lauren is the Senior Co-op + Career Advisor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. She works with biomedical and electromechanical engineering, and applied mathematics majors. She has worked in higher education for five years in both career development and residential life. Lauren and three of her colleagues write and produce their career development-focused show, WITworks Radio. This is not what she had in mind regarding “other duties as assigned”, but is still jazzed about it anyway. 

Unpacking Power and Privilege in Pursuit of 21st Century “Super Skills”

By Jacki Banks, Manager, Industry Advising: Creative Industries, Georgetown University

Educators have identified four key skills students need to be successful in the 21st century. Commonly called the 4C’s or “Super Skills,” they include communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. The “21st Century Skills” movement is fascinating, and you can learn more about it in the context of K-12 learning, or, more relevant for those of us in career services, against the backdrop of higher education.

As I was reading and reflecting on the National Education Association’s current guide to 21st century learning I recalled a workshop I attended, grounded in Peggy McIntosh’s research on cultural awareness, multicultural education, and relationship-building. Ms. McIntosh, a feminist and anti-racism activist, is the associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and founder of The National SEED Project.

During the workshop, I participated in a challenge by choice activity based on Ms. McIntosh’s essay White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack. In a challenge by choice activity, a series of statements are read and participants are asked to stand or raise their hand when they agree with a given statement. To give you a sense of the workshop, read through the following statements and imagine when you might stand or raise your hand.

At my university, I can schedule meetings back to back, because I can get across campus easily
At my university, if someone says I’m articulate, it is an uncomplicated compliment.
At my university, my accomplishments are not perceived as representing the potential or the successes of my race.
At my university, it is easy to find mentors who share my social identity and understand the particular challenges I face.
At my university, if I am passionate about an issue in class or during a club meeting, I will not be judged “emotional” or “irrational.”
At my university, all documents, websites, and classroom management software are accessible to me, without accommodation.

As I held these four critical competencies in one hand and the ideas of power and privilege in the other, I realized that they cannot be siloed. They just can’t. If you don’t critically assess the lens through which you view the world, how can you effectively communicate or collaborate? In essence, you cannot achieve true mastery of these “Super Skills” without a healthy dose of self-reflection.

True self-awareness is a profound process. It’s not always easy or nice or fun. But, as career educators, isn’t it our obligation to help our students become better colleagues, better managers, and, ultimately, better leaders?  If the answer is “yes,” then we need to focus on developing partnerships with departments on campus that help unpack issues of power and privilege. A Different Dialogue is one such program on Georgetown University’s campus.  We should encourage students to actively engage in these opportunities so that they might become the compassionate leaders and global citizens that the workplace needs them to be.

Jacki Banks, LGSW, advises students in the creative industries at Georgetown University’s Cawley Career Education Center.

Cranky Director’s Corner – Hey, you got your electrodes in my gray matter!

I really need to change up my newsfeed to just pull in stories on kittens and sunsets. It’s not the political stories that I find agitating, it’s the stories on tech. You’d think that people like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Ray Kurzweil, and other technology elites would have taken a few minutes out of their busy, social fabric re-weaving, world altering lives to watch Star Trek, Black Mirror, Terminator, The Matrix, or just about every other story involving direct brain-computer interfaces or unfettered AI. Clearly Elon Musk has either never seen The Outer Limits episode “Stream of Consciousness” or failed to get the point.

I do appreciate Mr. Musk’s concerns for the dangers in our headlong dash to develop AI. I am not so sure creating direct computer interfaces in our brains is the best way to respond. Maybe instead of trying to keep up with something WE ALREADY CONTROL we should slow it down. You see, a big part of the problem is the twin illusions of the inevitability of progress and that with more technology we can fix our problems.

Fortunately, none of this has anything to do with us. We’re not tech giants, venture capitalists, or government leaders. (Does the current administration know of any technology besides twitter? Would it turn down the opportunity to tweet directly into our heads? *shudder*) Since we don’t have a collective seat at the table, what’s the fuss? Simple. These undertakings need talented people to make them happen, and there’s a serious shortfall.

We stand astride that long term pipeline. We influence where our students look for work. We can also influence how they think about the work they’ll do. So, we come to a question for us as career development pros, what kind of programming do our offices offer to get students to think hard about the implications of the work they’ll do? How about your institution? Student initiated 1-on-1 sessions might be great, but we know that will hardly scratch the surface of our campus populations. I’m talking about solid, serious engagement with groups and classes, maybe even required curriculum. Ally with student groups, partner with similarly concerned faculty or administrators, research and recommend speakers, launch a conversation series, host panels to debate privacy or poverty or climate change and pair it with a networking event or mini career fair. Do something to raise the level of awareness on your campus and mark your office as one willing to tackle hard issues with your students. Our ethical instruction should not be confined to reneging on job offers and misrepresentations on resumes. Yes, this kind of behavior will make some of us politically unpopular on campus. Maybe there needs to be a reminder that our institutions are predicated on academic freedom and free discourse. Think students don’t care about this? Research on Millenials from Deloitte says otherwise.

Let’s be honest about our work. We’re helping people launch their careers. If we prepare students to write a good resume and run a good job search, but are not equipping them to assess the impact their work will have, are we really fulfilling our obligation to them and to society at large? Have we ethically comported our duties if we do not teach our students to ethically assess who will gain and who may be hurt by the work they do and the organizations they attach themselves to?

Frankly, I’m not terribly thrilled that we’re all in some half-baked social experiment run by Mark Zuckerburg or facing the prospect of AI controlled everything thanks to Uber, Google, and dozens of IoT companies. The same can be said of a lot of other organizations and industries. Just because an employer donates generously to our campus, offers great compensation packages, or sports a cool internal culture, it is not necessarily a good or healthy organization. I’m sure Enron was a great campus recruiter!

But if we as a profession not only enable, but encourage, our students to pursue these kinds of applications of their work blind to the larger implications, we are culpable for the future we’ll inhabit. If we don’t raise questions and consciousness because it’s uncomfortable or bad for our careers, what does that make us?

About the Author:  The cranky director will deliver rants on the economy, technology, social engineering, lack of a really good nearby falafel place, and idiot politicians (broadly defined)  to your computer desktop of preferred mobile device the fourth Friday of every month.

Online Assessment Hub

By Matt Cardin, Director, St. John Fisher College

Since its transition from a task force to an official EACE committee in 2016, the Outcomes and Assessment committee has been hard at work creating programs and resources for the membership.  One of the ideas pioneered by the committee has been the creation of an online Assessment Resource Hub, where EACE members can access tools and resources, as well as, share files pertaining to assessment practices at their career center.  EACE members can find rubrics, evaluation forms, surveys, reports and PowerPoints related to assessment.  You can access the Resource Hub through the EACE website on the Resources tab.  From the Resource tab, select Assessment Resource Hub, you will need to be signed into the site as a member, and then you will be able to enter the hub and view the resources.  Any EACE member can contribute to the collection of online assessment resources by completing this short submission form.  Please submit original items only.  We cannot accept copyrighted materials.  The Resource Hub is strengthened through member participation and all members are encouraged to submit and share resources.

As the demand for assessment continues to grow, the Resource Hub will help you generate ideas and solutions to the challenges that you face on your campus. The Outcomes and
AssessEACE Assessment Screen Shotment Committee is excited to announce the Resource Hub and is confident it will become a valuable benefit of EACE membership.  The vision for the Resource Hub is that it will inspire members and serve as a model that can be adapted by others to share resources and expertise on other topics related to our field.  It is the beginning of a new member tool that will get better overtime with member participation.  As our own assessment practices continue to improve so will the resources and ideas that we share.  Questions about the online Assessment Resource Hub can be directed to Matt Cardin, Director, Career Center at St. John Fisher College at mcardin@sjfc.edu.

cardinMatt Cardin is the Director of the Career Center at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. He has over 15 years of experience in the field.

The Millennial Journey: College internships are hardly optional.

By Gorick Ng

I applied for my first job at the age of 12 to support my family. I applied to housekeeping jobs, burger flipping jobs, grocery bagging jobs, and clerical jobs – and tried (poorly, in retrospect) to obfuscate my age and lack of work experience with sized-13 font and overly generous spacing for the “References Available upon Request” section in my resume. While I was all-around unsuccessful in securing a job using the resume I frankensteined together (and, instead, resorted to mowing lawns), little did I know that that experience would help me build a decade-long head start in the art of resume writing and resume building.

Ten years later, as I was writing what seemed like the hundredth iteration of my resume and cover letter in search of a full-time job after college, the edge I had built up became increasingly apparent: after having interned or worked with over two-dozen organizations from middle school through college, I was not only armed with a resume filled with work experiences, but I was also ready to pounce on any question interviewers could throw my way.

Meanwhile, to this day I see resumes from brilliant college seniors filled with demanding courses, but little substance in their experience section articulating their leadership and problem solving skills. Worse, the useless “References Available upon Request” section is somehow still present in all too many resumes I come across.

Reality struck: if you want an edge in the post-college job search, start resume-building in college.

Indeed, of the attributes that employers look for in job applicants, internships and employment ranked the highest, while college GPA and college reputation ranked the lowest.[1] With nearly 60% of graduating seniors having held at least one internship, [2] not having any work experience effectively puts you in the bottom half of the application pile – a place you do not want to find yourself.

Importance of Attributes in Evaluating Graduates for Hire

Unfortunately, such guidance too often falls on deaf freshman ears despite college career offices’ repeated attempts. Of the dozens of career counselors I have spoken to, too often do they see seniors floundering just days before commencement. One college career center I interviewed even sets up a booth adjacent to the commencement lawn.

So what’s to be done?

The message has to get out – and from as many trusted sources as possible: internships are hardly optional.

Just as Millennials find online user-generated content (messaging from peers rather than authorities) 50% more trustworthy than other (traditional) media,[3] the college career center should be but one of many bearers of this message: the message also has to come from alums, parents, mentors, and peers not in the form of a formal workshop, but rather as an insider tip on “what I wish I had known.”

Work experience matters – and having it on your resume is just as, if not even more important than good grades. Pass it on.

[1] https://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf

[2] http://www.naceweb.org/2012-student-survey.aspx (links to 2016 report)

[3] http://corp.crowdtap.com/socialinfluence

Gorick Ng helps companies work more productively with Millennials. From his work Gorick has spent thousands of hours understanding the experiences of Millennials, career counselors, and employers – and the “soft skills” and “hard skills” gaps that exist in the transition from school to work.

Gorick is pursuing his MBA Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Harvard College, where he now serves as a Resident Tutor leading pre-career advising. He was the first in his family to attend high school and college and is passionate about helping young people pursue their dreams.

More on Gorick here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gorickng

 

 

At the EACE Spring Meet Up, A is for Awesome Assessment Track

Meaningful and innovative are two words that I would use to describe the work that the Outcomes and Assessment Committee has been doing since it was established in July 2016.  The Outcomes and Assessment Committee is currently working on several projects that will provide members with programming, practical information, and a space to contribute and retrieve materials focused around assessment effective practices for career services and recruiting professionals. The Outcomes and Assessment Committee has several sub-committees who are looking at: Professional development and programming, certifications, annual conference pre-conference programming, and technology and web resources. With each sub-committee there is a level of intentionality on how we can deliver meaningful information and content to EACE members.

I’m sure you are wondering, “What does all of this really mean for me?” Over the next few months, the committee will be sharing professional development opportunities and new tools focused on assessment through social media and the Trending Blog.  I am excited to be sharing this introductory blog, and to tell you about an upcoming event.

On March 14, EACE will be hosting a Spring Meet Up in Philadelphia at St. Joseph’s University. The Spring Meet Up is a single day professional development opportunity for EACE members. This year, the Spring Meet Up will feature an Assessment Track.  Janet Long and Debra Klokis from the Outcomes and Assessment Committee have developed a set of presenters who bring a diverse set of experiences with assessment.

The first session is called, “Make Assessment Engaging – Be Part of the Process.” Facilitated by two well-known faculty members and assessment leaders from Drexel University, the interactive session will feature the “Wizards of Assessment” (think Dorothy and the Scarecrow!) in a unique format that makes the assessment process both meaningful and – dare we say — fun. Janet Long shared that the session is, “designed around a familiar theme to make the material more accessible and less intimidating.” Attendees of this presentation will be given an assessment scenario and will work with a group to address an assessment related challenge.  This session will be helpful for recruitment and career services professionals.

The second session is a panel discussion called “Overcoming the Fear of the “A” Word (Assessment).” The panel will consist of Jennifer Grauso, representing best assessment practices at St. John’s University, and Dr. Jocelyn Manigo and Janet Long, both representing Academic Support Services at Widener University. Debra Klokis of The College of New Jersey will facilitate the panel which will include ample time for audience participation and questions.

We hope that you’ll join us for the EACE Spring Meet Up and Assessment Track. There’s still time to register!

Read more about the mission of the Outcomes and Assessment Committee.

Written by Dorothy Hayden with Janet Long

It’s Not Personal, It’s Business” Wait, Yes It Is!

By Jennifer Serra, Westfield State University

We frequently teach our students the importance of networking, making connections and making it personal, but how often are we practicing this? We take the time in our one-on-one appointments, however students at our presentations and campus programming don’t gain that same quality individualized time. We set aside time to contact employers after a job fair and should try to do the same with the students we meet.

Something I’ve done to reach first and second year students in presentations is having them write their name, email and what their goals are/dream job is on a notecard along any other question they have but might be too afraid to ask. I have a feeling I’m not the only one that hears crickets when I ask if there are any questions. I collect the notecards and send them a personalized email within a week. I know what you’re thinking. When am I going to find the time to send out individual emails? However, I only do this with presentations to first and second year students and in smaller classrooms. Since they are settling into campus life, visiting the Career Center is probably not a priority at this point. I am committed to sending them the email and addressing their job or question they had wrote down within that week time frame. In the email, I include helpful links that I reviewed in the presentation and our Steps to Success 4 Year Plan handout. The links direct them back to our website and get them familiar with our online resources. When I present, I usually don’t see students jotting notes down so this is a guaranteed way to get them the appropriate information and establish myself as a resource they can go to for help down the road.

In the Chronicle of Higher Education article Small Changes in Teaching: Making Connections by James E. Lang, he discusses a few ways faculty members can help students’ link course content to the world around them. This holds true for those of us teaching Career Development as well. The best connections and relationships usually begin with an in-person meeting rather than a phone call and with students it’s no different. Presentations and programming get us in the door and from there we need to make the connection. We can promote our resources and social media networks all day long but they first have to see the value in what we’re doing and have to offer them.

As we know, students are bombarded with mass emails. The personalized email is sure to stand out to them! My hope is that the students find the emails helpful and it’s extremely rewarding to receive that response from them letting you know that it is. If we can engage them early on and develop a helping relationship, the end result benefits the entire institution.

computer-image

Source
Lang, J. M. (2016, February 08). Small Changes in Teaching: Making Connections. http://www.chronicle.com/article/Small-Changes-in-Teaching-/235230/

Jennifer Serra is a Career Counselor at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA

New Member Spotlight – “We Are EACE” – Meet Kimberly Helmle, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Enterprise Holdings

EACE has been asking new members to share some fun facts about themselves. Here we get to know Kimberly Helmle from Enterprise Holdings

Where are you originally from?
Springfield, PA

Where do you live now?
Downingtown, PA

Outside of work, what are some of your favorite things to do?
I love to use my time by spending it with family or friends. I think it’s important to have an experience and share with those that mean the most to you. That way, you can create memories to recall those moments in the future. I also love to travel!  I’m always trying to plan weekend adventures or put thought into a destination that I’d like to cross off of my list of places to visit. Lastly, I love things vintage that has a story behind it. On the weekends, I venture to different Antique Stores and to find hidden treasures anything that have a piece of history associated with them.

Why do you do what you do?
I enjoy recruiting and would like to continue a career path revolving around my role, but ultimately to advance in a leadership position as a Talent Acquisition Manager. I feel much fulfilled in my job. The chance to meet people, share my story, make a connection all with the hopes of giving someone the same amazing opportunity that Enterprise gave to me 10 years ago when I started in our Management Training Program.

What is your educational background?
I graduated from Shippensburg University in May of 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication & Human Studies. I decided to continue my love of traveling by studying abroad my Junior Year of College at the Leicester University, UK where I completed a minor in Sociology.

What was your first job?
I’ve had a strong work ethic instilled in me from a young age. My father owned his own cleaning business so technically, aside from working some odd side jobs, babysitting or helping him after school I’ve learned the value of making money early on. My first official job was working at Drexeline Supermarket in their corporate office. I had advanced from a front desk representative to handling and quickly transitioned to their Cash Department handling the company’s revenue. With some more work experience from there I advance quickly and assisted the Owner of the company with other office responsibilities pertaining to the business. I adapt quickly, and like a challenge, which is a skill that has helped me throughout the years. I’ve never turned down an opportunity to learn something new and grow personally and professionally from it.

What is the best advice you ever received?
I’ve been given a lot of wonderful advice over the years from my several mentors that I’m very grateful for and believe that feedback is so important. I’ve always remembered one resonates with me, which was to be selfish. At first, I thought well that’s terrible. Why would I be selfish? My job is to help people. I’ve always been a hardworking and humble person. I enjoyed putting others needs in front of my own or saying “Yes” to too many things. I’m passionate about being a team player and making my business successful. All things that I’m extremely proud, but at  that particular time in my career I never realized that I needed to also make myself a priority. I being selfish can be positive when it comes to your career desires, pursuing goals and how you have made accomplishments to your business and impacted people along the way. You have to BRAG Book and convey those things.

For someone starting in your field, what advice would you give?
I would tell a person starting out to not be afraid of making mistakes or to fail. For it is in those moments of weakness you find your true strength. You make the decision and how you want to react to it. Will you let it define you or use it as an experience to learn from? I would say that life happens at the end of your comfort zone. So, don’t take it personally and get uncomfortable…You might just surprise yourself.

What is something that might surprise us about you?
Some fun facts about me… I love art and have been drawing or practicing art from a young age. I have a twin brother and 1 of 5 siblings. At the age of 17, I was nominated by my high school choir director and made my first trip oversees. I traveled to 5 countries to perform with the American Music Aboard program. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve also had the privilege of backpacking through Europe for 3 weeks at the age of 21. Aside from those experiences, one of my many favorite memories was skydiving in the Swiss Alps. You feel so small with the world around you.

Lastly, at the University of Leicester, UK I was the only American student apart of LUST (Leicester University Student Television) as their on campus TV Host. I was able to get into their venues and interview students and special quests. How ironic. I love to make people laugh, so I can always be counted on to brighten anyone’s day when they need it even if it’s at my own expense.

Cranky Director’s Corner – I’ve Got Your Ban Right Here

I’m particularly cranky today. A pair of posts I’ve been laboring over just aren’t coming together. That’s on top of the last few weeks of political theater. And by theater I don’t mean something as refined as opera or exotic as kabuki. Something more akin to a few kids with a bed sheet as a backdrop, only without the potential charm.

The travel ban has been the most curious and troubling. One could go on about the failure to form and leverage a serious and well-informed advisory group, the incompetency of the rollout, and overall just horrendous display of the worst bits of American behavior. Let’s be clear, this ban is nothing new. We’ve long been a nation that’s demonstrated less than welcoming attitudes towards those seeking our shores (not to mention those found along our shores and already living inland). It’s just a new iteration of a sourness and fear with deep roots. Much has already been said and written on this front, though. And while it impacts us as Americans and likely impacts us through our institutions, that topic is not the focus of today’s grumbling.

Let’s turn our eyes to the corporate response, led by major tech companies. The New York Times points out that at some companies opposition to the ban is driven by rank-and-file employees, and that’s great. A read of the amicus filed jointly by the companies leads with the impact on recruiting. Not surprising. Our major technology companies, as well as those with significant technology components to their operations, have longed bemoaned the challenge of maintaining their talent pipelines. Specifically, the US does not produce enough (pick one: engineers, programmers, computer scientists, etc.) to meet their needs. Now I’m a big fan of open, legal immigration. But if US tech companies are focusing on pulling talent from off shore, isn’t that essentially the same as US companies a century ago plundering raw materials from other countries? Natural resources, human resources, we treat both as though it’s all the same. Take what we need, when we need it, while minimizing impact on the bottom line.

Meanwhile our country has inner city and rural schools struggling for resources, with kids fail to receive adequate modern education and do not have access to opportunities. I’m a big fan of teaching kids to code, regardless of what they ultimately major in or do in their careers. Knowing at least the basics of how all the machines, devices, and gadgets in our lives work affords an extra bit of power over our own lives.

So here’s an idea. Instead of focusing short term efforts on plundering the talent of other countries, I’d like to see our tech giants invest in our disconnected urban and rural communities. How? Reach out to communities with struggling students and schools, fund a computer lab and pay for a staff member to teach code as an after school program. (This is about adding to curriculum, not supplanting it.) Build in an incentive program so as they progress through projects and improve their skills kids earn their way towards the prize of their own computer . Network the classrooms so kids in rural Texas are engaging with kids in Oakland, California, Gary, Indiana, etc. End products: strong, deep talent pipelines for companies; improvement of education quality; integration instead of marginalization of populations historically disconnected from opportunity and power; encouragement of entrepreneurialism; alleviation of poverty; and, as a bonus, keeping kids busy with constructive activities is demonstrated to keep them out of a host of problems that have long term degrading effects on their lives and options. Sure things like this are happening, here and there. Time to step it up.

Panacea? Not by a long shot, but it’s a big step in the right direction. So US companies, please stop putting a friendly face on that old school American corporate imperialism and actually invest in American students for the long term. Being socially responsible doesn’t begin and end with filing amici or addressing the problems only your organization finds interesting, it means addressing the real problems and sharing your power.

About the Author:  The cranky director will deliver rants on the economy, technology, social engineering, lack of a really good nearby falafel place, and idiot politicians (broadly defined)  to your computer desktop of preferred mobile device the fourth Friday of every month.

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