An EDC workforce development project has been recognized as a promising new model for education by the World Economic Forum. The project, Accelerated Work Achievement and Readiness for Employment 2 (AWARE2), was one of 16 programs, schools, and initiatives highlighted in the report Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
AWARE2 is a three-year initiative that prepares upper secondary school students to participate in the digital economy in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The project partnered with industry leaders, including IBM, Intel, Toyota, and Tata, to provide workforce development trainings, work-based learning opportunities, and innovation boot camps. It was selected for inclusion in Schools of the Future because of its focus on developing students’ technology, programming, and digital citizenship skills.
“AWARE2’s model of bringing industry directly into the classroom is key to preparing young people for the jobs of the future,” says Rebecca Jackson Stoeckle, who directs the project. “Through innovative experiences, such as virtual work-based learning, students master digital literacy and self-direction, critical aptitudes for success and advancement in the changing workplace.”
Since 2017, 4,000 students have received workforce development trainings, work-based learning opportunities, and innovation boot camps to help them build in-demand skills. An earlier version of the program, known as AWARE, reached more than 4,000 students in Indonesia and the Philippines between 2013 and 2015. Both AWARE and AWARE2 were funded by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation.
“By connecting industry and schools so closely, AWARE2 is giving more young people a leg up into STEM careers,” says Stoeckle. “Making innovation accessible to everyone can powerfully interrupt the cycle of economic inequality.”