New York, March 30, 2017 – Today, PwC is announcing the launch of Access Your Potential™, a five-year, $320 million commitment that will focus on providing tools, training and mentoring to students, educators and guidance counselors across the U.S. with the goal of closing the opportunity, education and skills gaps. This initiative is one of the firm’s most significant investments made to-date, dedicated to closing these gaps.
This announcement coincides with the release of a startling study PwC did in conjunction with the Business-Higher Education Forum showing a concerning gap between the expectations of educators and the expectations of business executives when it comes to getting students ready for the job market. The study has significant implications for workforce preparedness and the U.S. economy. By 2021, 69 percent of U.S. executives say they’ll prefer to choose job candidates with data science and analytics skills, yet only 23 percent of educators believe their graduates will possess those skills. In fact, according to PwC’s annual CEO survey, 79 percent of U.S. CEOs are concerned that a shortage of key skills could impair their companies’ growth.
"Too many young people are being left behind by our country's growing education gap. At PwC, we believe that every student's potential should be realized, regardless of their circumstances. That is why we are investing in helping young people achieve their potential by improving their financial capability and opening their eyes to tech-enabled careers."
Through Access Your Potential™, PwC aims to help more than 10 million students in underserved communities gain access to financial capability and technology skills curricula as well as equip 100,000 teachers and guidance counselors with tools to prepare and guide students in making sound financial choices and understanding tech-based careers. The commitment will also leverage the financial acumen and technology skillsets of PwC’s 46,000 Partners and staff, as well as build upon the firm’s network of educators and nonprofit collaborators.
“For us, helping young people learn these essential life skills is a responsibility, a privilege, and a passion,” said Shannon Schuyler, corporate responsibility leader, PwC. “Creating an equitable society must be a priority and Access Your Potential™ is one of the ways that we can begin to address this formidable challenge.”
The Access Your Potential™ commitment more than doubles the impact of Earn Your Future®, the firm’s $190 million investment made in 2012, which included investments from the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. The new initiative will allow PwC to make further progress in the areas Earn Your Future® revealed to have the greatest need.
The new research and the commitment were released today at Crunching the Numbers: An Atlantic Forum on Data Analytics & Tomorrow's Workforce.
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