Correlation One today announced that SoftBank Group International is backing Data Science for All / Empowerment (DS4A / Empowerment), a new effort designed to upskill and prepare job seekers from underserved communities for data science careers.
DS4A / Empowerment aims to train at least 10,000 people from underrepresented communities – prioritizing those who are Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and U.S. military veterans – over the next three years, providing new pathways to economic opportunity in the world's fastest-growing industries.
"We need talent with a deep understanding of data science to build the companies of the future," said Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International. "We're proud to join this effort, continue to upskill our portfolio companies, and train more than 10,000 people from underrepresented communities with critical technical skills."
SoftBank is supporting DS4A / Empowerment through its new AI Academy, which supports programs that supplement theoretical training of traditional technical education courses with practical lessons, including AI and data skills that can be immediately applied to common business needs.
DS4A / Empowerment will provide training for SoftBank Group International portfolio company employees, including portfolio companies of the Opportunity Fund and Latin America Fund, as well as external candidates from the U.S. and Latin America. The program is specifically designed to address talent and equity gaps in a field that has historically been inaccessible for many workers, leading to significant underrepresentation of women and non-white individuals. Participants work on real-world case studies that are expected to have measurable impact on the operational performance of participating companies.
IDB Lab will join SoftBank by providing over 10 full-ride fellowships to underrepresented candidates in Latin America while the Miami-Dade Beacon Council will provide four full-ride fellowships for underrepresented candidates based in Miami.
In addition, the City of Miami will join as an impact partner by providing 20 fellowships to Miami talent and five fellowships to public sector workers.
"As Miami grows as a tech hub, it is important that we empower local entrepreneurs and the public sector to leverage the power of AI. We are proud to support the building of a diverse data-fluent community in Miami through our partnership with Correlation One and SoftBank," said Mayor of Miami Francis Suarez.
Participants in the program will receive 13 weeks of data and analytics training (plus optional Python training) while working on case studies and projects, including projects submitted by SoftBank portfolio companies. The initiative will also connect participants with mentors who will provide professional development and career coaching. At the end of the program, external participants will be connected with employment opportunities at SoftBank and leading enterprises across business, financial services, technology, healthcare, consulting, and consumer sectors.
"Miami's success hinges on dramatically expanding opportunities across our community and building a workforce with the skills for the jobs of tomorrow," said Matt Haggman, executive vice president of The Beacon Council. "This program is an important step towards creating the innovative and equitable future we can – and must – achieve."
"Training our residents to take on the jobs of the future is critical to ensuring that economic growth is shared across all communities, and to building our local talent so that more leading companies in fields like tech and data science can put down roots in Miami-Dade," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava. "I'm thrilled that this program is unlocking opportunities in a field that has historically been inaccessible for so many, and creating new, inclusive pathways to prosperity in one of the world's fastest-growing industries."
"The COVID-19 pandemic has both accelerated demand for data science talent and exacerbated the access gaps that kept so many aspiring workers locked out of opportunity," said Rasheed Sabar and Sham Mustafa, co-CEOs and co-founders of Correlation One. "We are grateful to work with innovative employers like SoftBank that are stepping up to play a more direct role in helping the workforce prepare themselves for jobs of the future."
DS4A Empowerment is an online program delivered in English over a 13-week period. Classes will convene on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, beginning on April 17, 2021.
Registration for the program ends on March 7, 2021. Candidates who should consider applying include employees of SoftBank affiliated portfolio companies in the region as well as software engineers, technical product managers, technical marketers, and anyone with a STEM background who is interested in learning data analysis.
To apply and find out more information about the program, interested candidates can visit the official DS4A Empowerment website.