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Closing the opportunity, education and skills gap in the US

Setting the scene

In the US, income inequality, and the gap between the rich and the poor, continues to grow. Students must adapt to a rapidly changing world, where emerging technologies are transforming the workplace and the costs of education continue to rise. As a result, millions of people are at risk of being excluded from the workforce.

Seventy nine percent of US CEOs are concerned about a shortage of key skills (according to the PwC Global CEO Survey) and so are we, so PwC US has committed to sharing key capabilities in finance and technology to help people in underserved populations prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

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"We’re taking on a big issue student by student. By helping kids find their path and reach for their potential, we’re not only helping them be successful, we are also building the talented leaders that businesses and communities need — and that’s good for all of our futures.”

Tim Ryan, Chairman and senior partner, PwC US

How we helped

In 2012, PwC US launched a groundbreaking, five-year initiative – Earn Your Future® (EYF™) – to develop the financial skills of people in communities across the US. EYF was an ambitious commitment to reach 2.5 million students and educators through a range of measures, including developing and teaching a financial literacy curriculum.

Having met its EYF goals in the fall of 2016, in 2017 the firm announced it was building on the success of EYF with an even more ambitious programme. Access Your Potential® is a five-year, US$320 million commitment aimed at helping more than 10 million students in underserved communities learn critical financial capability and technology skills, while equipping 100,000 teachers and counsellors with tools to help students make sound financial choices and understand tech-based careers. The programme will also connect students to PwC professionals, who can share their experience on selecting the right colleges and careers.


Impact

Far exceeding its original targets, by the end of five years in June 2017, EYF had reached over 4.6 million students and educators through an investment of over US$110 million and over 1.2 million service hours. An analysis of more than 173,000 student assessments confirmed that the EYF curriculum delivered a wide array of benefits to the students involved – such as improving their basic financial knowledge and encouraging them to learn more.