The Alcoa Foundation and U can B

»Posted by on Nov 6, 2016 in Alcoa, Skills Gap, STEM, Success, The Alcoa Foundation | Comments Off on The Alcoa Foundation and U can B

Pittsburgh’s own Alcoa is a proud partner of our U can B program. Alcoa is a longtime supporter of education and diversity in the world marketplace – through the Alcoa Foundation, thousands of nonprofits, schools, and organizations have been able spearhead sustainable, educational, and career-building initiatives. Alcoa’s partnership with Building Bridges expands the U can B program into more schools in the Pittsburgh region, most recently being Freeport Area School District. For over 60 years, Alcoa Foundation has been a champion of supporting nonprofit organizations worldwide. Alcoa Foundation attentively supports sustainability, STEM, innovation, communities, and students on a daily basis. Funding provided by Alcoa Foundation supports leading nonprofit education and environmental organizations, building strong long-term partnerships that produce meaningful and impactful results. Recognizing the ever-growing challenges of tomorrow, Alcoa Foundation directly supports initiatives that produce an innovative and competitive workforce. At the end of the day, all of the funding decisions that Alcoa Foundation makes are driven by two imperatives: environment and education. The Alcoa Foundation has a vibrant history of supporting STEM education programs, helping thousands of students every year. Our global economy and marketplace is constantly evolving. To prepare the communities where Alcoa operates for the world to come, the Alcoa Foundation focuses on projects that increase the number of students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies. Seeking to promote a more diverse workforce, Alcoa Foundation places emphasis on engaging girls, women, and other underrepresented groups to enter into science and technology fields. Some of Alcoa Foundation’s several STEM initiatives include Junior Achievement, Academy of Model Aeronautics, Society for Science and the Public, and US 2020. US2020 and Alcoa Foundation aim to bolster the STEM movement by working together to create an online mentoring program to reach 20,000 students and professionals. In line with Alcoa Foundation’s spirit of promoting innovation and education is their current support of U can B. By partnering with nonprofits like Building Bridges, Alcoa Foundation continues to contribute to economic success, environmental excellent and social responsibility worldwide. See the positive change that Alcoa Foundation enables by looking at their website....

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U can B Career Days on the Northside

»Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Blended Learning, Pittsburgh, Professional Development, Resources in the Region, STEM, Success, Trade education, Training for Employees, U can B, Youth Entrepreneurs | Comments Off on U can B Career Days on the Northside

  U can B @ Clayton High School will conclude in May with ‘Career Days at Clayton High’! Career Days will begin with an Interview Competition on May 1th. This will be followed by an in-school Career Fair on May 20th. The Building Bridges for Business U can B Program, a series of career awareness classes aimed at high school and middle school students, launched its first classes at Clayton Academy in Pittsburgh’s North Side on March 2, 2016. U can B classes at Clayton were provided through support of the Verizon Foundation. Topics for middle and high school students ranged from Career Interests to STEM-related Careers to Job Readiness Classes. Students in the middle school were registered for FREE online career profiles via STEM Premier. Students in the high school at Clayton focused specifically on topics such as Work Readiness, Job Search, Interview Skills, and Networking in preparation for Career Days. May 11th Interview Day Students are currently working on resumes and cover letters as a class project. These will be completed and reviewed by Clayton teachers prior to the Interview Day. On May 11th, students will participate in a panel style interview. U can B teachers, Clayton staff, and volunteers from the community will make up three panels. Students will cycle through for individual interviews. A scoring rubric will be used by the panelists to assess students’ interview performance. Three Awards will be selected: Best Interview, Best Resume, Best Cover Letter. Certificates and prizes will be presented to the winners. Certificates of Participation are to be presented to all students who completed the U can B Program. Winners to be announced at the May 20th Career Fair. May 20th Career Fair The U can B team has organized a Career Fair which will take place at Clayton on May 20th between 10:00-12:00. The Fair will be followed by a cookout and celebration. Students, teachers, U can B staff, employers, and volunteers are invited to attend the cookout. Approximately 65 students are expected. Awards will be presented during the cookout and celebration. The Career Fair and Cookout will be a wonderful way to conclude the school year. Students have put a lot of time and effort into the U can B Program at Clayton, and the May 20th event is their reward for that hard work. In addition to the celebration, students will have the opportunity to discuss jobs and careers with representatives from several Pittsburgh-area businesses including but not limited to United States Probation & Pretrial Services of Western PA, Allegheny Health Network, IBEX Global, Career Talk on KDKA, Legal Shield, and Arias Agencies. Arias Agencies, a division of American Income Life, has agreed to participate and present certificates of completion to the students. Title sponsor of Career Talk on KDKA, Arias Agencies has been an on-going supporter and hiring partner of the...

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U can B continues programs Summer

»Posted by on May 8, 2016 in Professional Development, Resources in the Region, STEM, Trade education, Training for Employees, U can B, Videos, webinars | Comments Off on U can B continues programs Summer

Description of Services – U Can B Group Sessions U Can B group sessions include a variety of activities designed to engage students of all backgrounds, levels of ability, interests, and skill level. The classroom sessions offer learning experiences through a number of hands-on and lecture-based presentations. Topic areas include the following: 1.) Work Readiness & Soft Skills – U Can B teachers and guest speakers offer a plethora of content related to work readiness and soft skills. Through video, lecture and activity, students learn about Teamwork, Communication, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Professionalism, Interview Skills, and Workplace Culture. 2.) Networking & Job Search – U Can B students learn from teachers and local HR representatives the most up-to-date and effective job searching techniques. These include Networking, Using Social Media, Using Social Media Responsibly, How to Work a Job Fair, Job Applications, Resume Writing, and more! 3.) Career Awareness – U Can B guest speakers provide students with first-hand career awareness and exposure to careers in IT, Health Care, Film & Media, Green & Sustainable, Veterinarian & Animal Care, Trades, Government & Politics, and Entrepreneurship. 4.) Basic IT Skills – Through the use and access to O*Net Online (a DOL career exploration database), Career Talk on KDKA, and other technologies, U Can B students have an opportunity to enhance and/or improve basic IT skills. The U Can B Program supplements classroom learning with other activities designed to educate students, give students exposure to the world of work, and to generate potential employment opportunities for high school students and/or soon-to-be graduates. U Can B services are for sure unique. The program stands alone in that it currently operates in local schools and interacts daily with the local business community. U Can B services offer a unique educational experience to local high school and middle schools students while simultaneously serving as the bridge between young, local talent and employers in the public and private sectors who are seeking the next generation of Pittsburgh’s talented...

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Aziksa, Inc. Partners with U can B

»Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Aziksa, Blended Learning, Career Education for High School Students, Distance Learning, EDUCATION online, STEM, Trade education, Training for Employees, U can B | Comments Off on Aziksa, Inc. Partners with U can B

PRESS RELEASE Aziksa, Inc. Partners with Pittsburgh based U can B to Provide Access to Life Learning Courses for High School Students Students can learn about Entrepreneurship, STEM, Trades, Politics, and More Pittsburgh, PA, May 2, 2016: Aziksa, Inc., a strategic learning platform company, inked a multi-year contract to provide a cloud based, blended learning system to U can B (Building Bridges) to expand access to courses that will allow local students to learn more about life after high school and college. The blended learning partnership will allow students to take courses online and via their mobile phones and devices at a significantly reduced cost.  This is a new blended learning partnership. “We are excited to work with U can B and the Building Bridges for Business organization,” said Aziksa President and CEO Santosh Jha. “We are committed to offering easy to use classes to young people and this partnership will allow more students to take advantage of the U can B offerings. Students can expand on their formal classroom learning by taking courses in entrepreneurship, science and technology, green and sustainable science, and a variety of trades.” The Aziksa ( cloud based, blended learning platform is designed specifically to enhance interaction between students and teachers in the online atmosphere by using the Virtual Classroom and Virtual Lab to maximize contact between the instructors and the learners. Students can sign-up online and participate in the courses from the comfort of their home and still take advantage of the many benefits of interacting with fellow learners and the instructors. Students can even access the class sessions and course with their mobile device to accommodate those on the go. “We are very pleased to be working with Aziksa. They really understand how best to deliver online learning in today’s world and I know students will benefit from the increased interaction. We looked at many blended learning options and we think Aziksa offers the best choice for our purposes,” said Linda Handley, Founder of U Can B. Entrepreneurs and businesspeople, along with the non-profit organization Building Bridges for Business, are giving local students the chance to see what life is like after high school and college. The U can B curriculum is tailored to meet your school’s needs and includes a variety of life learning courses like entrepreneurship, website design and SEO, graphic design and animation, veterinarian study and animal related careers, career preparation and networking, and green and sustainable practices and careers. The program further engages the students with our proprietary Coffee With Film series, which showcases industry leaders and politicians with a variety of insight in those careers. The program is augmented by In person speakers and experts that share real world experiences and advice in career development and planning. For more information about U can B and the Building Bridges initiative, please visit their website at or send an email to Building Bridges/U can B is located at 625 Stanwix Street, #1605, in Pittsburgh, PA...

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Building a Brighter Future: The Importance of STEM Education

»Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in STEM | Comments Off on Building a Brighter Future: The Importance of STEM Education

All young students should be prepared to think critically so that they have the skills to become the innovators, educators, and leaders of tomorrow. In order to advance our society, the next generation needs the ability to create the innovations that can solve the most pressing challenges facing our nation and our world. Giving students a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is an important piece of preparing them for success beyond school. 1. STEM Prepares Students to Think Critically Even for students who are not planning to pursue a career in STEM, the skills that these disciplines teach students remains relevant. The key to success in any career is knowing how to think critically. These subjects teach students how to think critically and how to solve problems — skills that can be used throughout life to help them get through tough times and take advantage of opportunities whenever they appear. Having a strong set of STEM skills gives students the ability to analyze the world around them, make strategic decisions, and find ways to make improvements. 2. STEM Careers are Growing For students with an interest in pursuing a career in STEM after high school graduation, the future looks bright. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, science, technology, engineering, and math occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%. On top of this, The National Science Foundation estimates that 80% of jobs available for the years to come will require math and science skills. Additionally, STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers. 3. Making the US and the World a Better Place According to 2012 statistics from the National Math and Science Initiative, there are 26 and 19 industrialized nations that perform better than U.S. students in math and science, respectively. Today that number of the world’s scientists and engineers that reside in the US has shrunk to about 15%. Exposing students to STEM subjects and careers early on is a powerful way to strengthen our country’s global competitiveness and create new innovations that propel society forward. By extending the STEM pipeline from elementary school through high school, students are given the opportunities to establish a bright future for themselves, as well as the world. Thanks to programs like U can B, entrepreneurs and businesspeople are giving students the chance to see what life is like after high school and college. U can B exposes children grades 6-12 to STEM subjects, creating an educational environment that not only values excellence in math and science, but excellence in creativity, innovation, and...

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3 Women Shaping the World of STEM

»Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in STEM | Comments Off on 3 Women Shaping the World of STEM

Even though they make up nearly half of the overall workforce, women fill fewer than a quarter of the STEM jobs in the US. In 2013, only 26% of computing professionals were female. While these numbers aren’t favorable, things are gradually changing. Thanks to programs that encourage young women and girls’ interests in science-based subjects at school, more women are making waves in STEM fields. Below are a few of the inspirational women leading the way for the future of women in science. Marissa Mayer: CEO at Yahoo, former Google engineer As Google’s first female engineer, Marissa Mayer has helped to break down the stereotypes that prevent women from entering the field in a major way. She says, “People ask me all the time: ‘What is it like to be a woman at Google?’ I’m not a woman at Google, I’m a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great.” For Mayer, the key to success was pursuing her passion no matter how great the obstacle. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough. Sometimes that’s a sign that something really good is about to happen. You’re about to grow and learn a lot about yourself.” Isis Anchalee, software engineer This 22-year-old engineer created the viral hashtag #iLookLikeAnEngineer which spread globally in over 50 countries and started millions of conversations around the world about the stereotypes that exist in STEM field. In an article for the Washington Post, Isis said, “Gender diversity challenges seem to be what mainstream media has picked up on the most. While I think that it is absolutely wonderful that this has sparked so many positive discussions about the way that women are treated in STEM, I want to clarify that #iLookLikeAnEngineer is intentionally radically inclusive. It’s not just about me and it’s not just about women. #iLookLikeAnEngineer is about anyone and everyone who wants to pursue STEM, regardless of their external appearances.” Elizabeth Holmes, Health Technology entrepreneur As the CEO of Theranos, a company that has developed a new method of blood testing, Holmes is proving that gender and age aren’t factors when it comes to being a major force in the healthcare field as well as the business world. Holmes studied chemistry before dropping out of Stanford University during her sophomore year to start her company. At age 31 she made Forbes’ Billionaires List as the youngest self-made female billionaire. Role models like these women are helping to break down the barriers for girls thinking about careers in STEM. In addition, we must focus on continuing to encourage young girls to pursue the careers they are passionate about. According to Fortune Magazine, “early exposure is crucial, as interest in STEM fields in general during high school is associated with the ultimate pursuit of an engineering or computing education or career.” Programs like U can B are looking to do just that. With courses in science and technology, students grades 6-12 are inspired to pursue their passions, no matter what their gender. Together, we can help more girls pursue rewarding careers in...

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