Best Buy Co. Inc. is expanding a series of programs and partnerships designed to ensure the availability of a crucial IT component – human talent.
As part of this ongoing initiative, in spring 2016, the Best Buy Teen Tech Center network will open four new centers that offer year-round after-school programming. And from May through September, more than 6,000 students will attend free Geek Squad Academy (GSA) two-day sessions in communities around the country.
Also, following an open grant submission process, Best Buy has selected the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System in Atlanta; the Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center in Dallas; the P.F. Bresee Foundation in Los Angeles, and Alternatives in Action in Oakland, California, as partners for four new Best Buy Teen Tech Centers. Opening this spring, they will join existing centers in Chicago; Denver; Jersey City, New Jersey; Miami; Minneapolis; San Antonio; Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Teen Tech Center and GSA curriculum encourages teens to explore technology through immersive training in technology areas such as digital music and film production, digital photography, coding, and 3D design.
In addition, Best Buy will also continue a partnership with the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency to improve technology education and access for children and families living in HUD-assisted housing. As part of the HUD partnership, Best Buy will provide free digital literacy training and Geek Squad Academy courses to teens in public housing in more than 20 cities.
Best Buy will also provide digital literacy training and a Geek Squad Academy at the Durant, Oklahoma-based Choctaw Nation, the only tribal nation to participate in the ConnectHome program.
“For 50 years, Best Buy has been a catalyst in the rise of technology as a means to improve virtually every aspect of our lives,” said Susan Bass Roberts, senior director of community relations, diversity & inclusion at Best Buy. “We are committed to giving underserved youth access to the tech training and tools they need to further their education and careers. Together, we believe we can help nurture and inspire a new generation of engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, designers, artists and dreamers.”
In addition to providing a valuable community service, Best Buy’s youth technology initiatives also help ensure that a broader range of young people have the opportunity to become digitally savvy consumers or even technology workers. Thus in the next five to 10 years, many of the recipients of Best Buy’s generosity may start repaying it through technology purchases they otherwise would not have been in position to make.