Redlands, California—Advocates of the Opportunity Youth Network (OYN) have called for employers nationwide to embrace young people entering the workforce through the organization’s First Job Compact. The compact urges companies to earmark entry-level positions for young workers, nurture new employees with training and education, and give recent graduates the valuable employment experience they need to begin their careers. For geographic information system (GIS) software development company Esri, supporting young people in the labor force is paramount.
Because employers prioritize hiring candidates with previous work experience, individuals under 25 years old are three times more likely to be unemployed than the remaining labor pool, leaving young people at a disadvantage if they haven’t secured their first job yet. To bridge this gap, Esri has offered thousands of internships at its Redlands headquarters and regional offices. It’s not uncommon for interns to translate these experiences into fulltime jobs.
Esri’s lead product engineer for spatial statistics development, Lauren Bennett, began her career with a solution engineering internship at Esri’s Washington, DC, office. To enhance her abilities, Esri supported Bennett’s education as she pursued a master’s degree as well as a doctorate while working full-time.
"I feel incredibly lucky to have been fostered from undergrad all the way through my PhD by Esri. I have grown tremendously through each of these opportunities," said Bennett. "And it all started with a summer internship."
To support the ConnectED Initiative, Esri pledged $1 billion of ArcGIS Online software to K–12 schools nationwide, allowing an estimated 165,000 students to build skills in the interdisciplinary mapping technology used by thousands of governments and businesses.
These students are guided by over 1,000 volunteer GeoMentors, GIS professionals who help schools incorporate geography into classroom curriculum. Esri also employs a traveling team of education managers that strengthen GIS through spatial awareness-driven discussions at schools and universities. These educators promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning, which build critical thinking.
Also, Esri’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) aids young people pursuing a GIS-related career path. YPN fosters mentorship, professional relationships, internships, and training opportunities. Here, students and recent graduates are connected to entry-level positions at Esri and beyond.
Discover how you can support Esri support America’s youth by visiting geomentors.net.