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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 17, 2000
Contact:Michael Goldstein, 781-370-1027

Innovative Summer Jobs Program Launched Again by YTE

Malden - Every high school has them: one or two extraordinary students with expert high tech skills. The students are so knowledgeable in computers that businesses happily hire them despite their age.

"Fast forward to 2004," stated Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll, "Within five years, there will be thousands of high tech all stars in high schools throughout the Commonwealth. School districts are developing programs to instruct their students to become computer teachers, technicians, and entrepreneurs for local companies. These students are being trained at a time when Massachusetts businesses are in need of high-tech workers."

The statistics concerning the high tech skill gap in the workplace are startling. According to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's 1999 Innovation Report, technology-intensive businesses indicated that 8.4% of their manager positions and 7.6% of their technician jobs were unfilled. Nationwide, according to an April 2000 report by the Information Technology Association of America, 843,000 jobs in the information technology field will go begging this year due to a lack of qualified applicants.

Leading the state effort to train the next generation of technology professionals are over 100 students in four districts, Malden, Medford, Waltham, and Concord-Carlisle, who take part in the intensive Youth Tech Entrepreneurs (YTE) program. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Education and FleetBoston Financial, YTE prepares these students for success in summer technology jobs.

Now in its second summer of operation, YTE screens, trains, and places students who are skilled in technology as well as provides ongoing support to the company and the students during the summer. Companies get a high skilled computer technician, network specialist, or web designer for a fraction of the price of a high-priced consultant.

"I did not expect someone as proficient as Karen, "admitted Kean Brown, who hired YTE student Karen Pang last summer to be a technician at the Massachusetts Center for Education Telecommunications, "I expected just a 15 year old, but she knew more about DOS than I did! She was a great help, especially with our transition from the old to the new server."

Students in YTE were selected for their motivation and interpersonal skills to take part in a rigorous technology leadership program. During the year, these students spend time in class, on Saturdays, and after school teaching teachers, building computer labs, and designing websites. As a result, students develop their technology and people skills in real-life situations with real clients in preparation for their summer jobs.

"I could have had a typical teenage job this summer," says YTE student Elizabeth Elliott, who will work as a network engineer this summer for Gold Wire Technology in Waltham, "But I wanted a job that will help get me to where I want to be. I want to show adults that teenagers have something to contribute."

Added Michael Goldstein, the Executive Director of YTE, "The solution in Massachusetts is for the state to grow its own highly-skilled workforce. Businesses can look to public schools for solutions to their needs, not 12 years from now, but as early as this July."

Founded in 1997, YTE is a non-profit organization that prepares high school students for leadership and further education by helping them become computer teachers, technicians, and entrepreneurs in service to their community. In 2000, YTE will expand to Burlington, Everett, Haverhill, Lawrence, and Lynn. YTE's website is www.yte.org. For more information about YTE's job placement program, contact Tatiana Xenelis at txenelis@yte.org or call 781-388-1748.



Last Updated: May 17, 2000
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