Investment

PricewaterhouseCoopers Commits $320 Million to Help Improve Tech and Financial Capability of Students

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PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational professional services company, is launching “Access Your Potential,” a five-year, $320 million commitment that will focus on providing tools, training and mentorship to students, educators and guidance counselors across the United States, with the goal of closing the opportunity, education and skills gaps. The initiative is one of the firm’s most significant investments made to date.

The announcement coincides with the release of a study PwC did in conjunction with the Business Higher-Education Forum, showing a troubling gap between the expectations of educators and the expectations of business executives when it comes to getting student ready for the job market. The study has significant implications for workforce preparedness and the U.S. economy.

According to the study, 69 percent of U.S. executives say by 2021 they’ll prefer to choose job candidates with data science and analytics skills, yet only 23 percent of educators believe their graduates will possess those skills. In fact, according to PwC’s annual CEO survey, 79 percent of U.S. CEOs are concerned that a shortage of key skills could impair their companies’ growth.

Through Access Your Potential, PwC aims to help more than 10 million students in underserved communities gain access to financial capability and technology skills curricula as well as equip 100,000 teachers and guidance counselors with tools to prepare and guide students in making sound financial choices and understanding tech-based careers. The commitment will also leverage the financial talents and technology skillsets of PwC’s 46,000 partners and staff, as well as build upon the firm’s network of educators and nonprofit collaborators.

“Too many young people are being left behind by our country’s growing education gap,” said Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman and senior partner at PwC, in a statement. “At PwC, we believe that every student’s potential should be realized, regardless of their circumstances. That is why we are investing in helping young people achieve their potential by improving their financial capability and opening their eyes to tech-enabled careers.”

The Access Your Potential commitment more than doubles the impact of “Earn Your Future,” the firm’s $190 million investment made in 2010, which included investments from the PwC Charitable Foundation. The new initiative will allow PwC to make further progress in the areas Earn Your Future revealed to have the greatest need.

The new research and commitment were released today at “Crunching the Numbers: An Atlantic Forum on Data Analytics & Tomorrow’s Workforce” in Washington, D.C.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the fifth largest privately owned company in the United States according to Forbes magazine, is the same firm that notoriously messed up the best picture announcement at the 2017 Academy Awards. To learn more about the firm, visit the company’s website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at rchang@1105media.com.

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