IBM: Redesigning the High School to Workforce Pipeline

By Alexandra Luterek and Vera Oziransky

In the U.S., 31% of young adults without a high school diploma live in poverty, compared to 24% of young people who finish high school. Education and poverty are two of the strongest predictors of health. Investing in education is considered an ‘upstream’ intervention, because it sets its recipients on a trajectory to better health, economic opportunities, and has an impact on people’s ability to acquire and utilize a range of vital professional and critical thinking skills.

IBM currently has 431,212 employees, which is more than Microsoft, Apple, and Google combined. IBM and other large employers are in a unique position to influence population health through investments in workforce and community health. Over the past several years, IBM has invested in training and recruiting underserved youth into its company. Its investment in education creates Shared Value for the business and for society by expanding educational opportunities in low income communities and building a qualified workforce pipeline.

Students graduating from IBM’s Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) not only receive high school and associates degree diplomas, but are also first in line for internships and jobs at IBM. The model is quickly scaling across the county, and schools report attendance rates upwards of 98%. Several graduates received jobs at IBM.

Read more about how employers are creating Shared Value between workforce and community health in our report, “Beyond the Four Walls: Why Community is Critical to Workforce Health” and find out about details of the P-TECH model and its impact on young adults and IBM here. For additional case studies of businesses investing in community health, visit


How does your community do in terms of promoting a “Culture of Health”? Do big companies play a part in mentoring local youth? We’d love to hear from you, either below or on social media at @VitalityInst and using #Beyond4Walls


Thumbnail Image Credit: Technically / Brooklyn 

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