SOURCE: Genesys Works

Genesys Works

July 07, 2010 08:00 ET

Genesys Works Houston Launches 20 Days, 20 Ways Program

20 Days of Intensive Summer Training Prepares High School Students for Practical Work Experience With Fortune 500 Companies

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - July 7, 2010) -  Now through August 13, nearly 150 teenagers from Houston's inner city schools are participating in a professional boot camp called 20 Days, 20 Ways, led by Genesys Works' Houston staff. The young people, all of whom will be seniors in high school this fall, will train for eight weeks in IT, engineering drafting, and accounting. At the end of successfully completed training, the students will be placed with Houston area companies in part-time internships that will last through May 2011.

"Our successes in Houston begin with advance preparation, and that means no summer break for our selected students," says Sharon A. Jacobson, executive director for Genesys Works Houston and a veteran in sustainable education initiatives. "The summer-time training we provide through 20 Days, 20 Ways is a key element in preparing our interns, participating schools and companies for a year-long collaboration that has demonstrated significant results. Our school partners in Houston ISD, Alief, Aldine, Sheldon and Spring Branch and Corporate partners collectively voice their support for expansion of our programs each year, and we know that our boot-camp style approach to intern training is the first ingredient to create that desire." 

Corporations participating in the 2010-2011 Houston program include: Accenture, AECOM, Baker Hughes, Chevron, Community Health Choice, Continental Airlines, Cooper Industries, Copano Energy, Dynegy, El Paso Corporation, Enbridge, ExxonMobil, GE Oil & Gas, Hess, HighMount Exploration and Production, Hines, Jacobs Engineering Group, JES Tech, JPMorgan Chase, Kinder Morgan, Marathon Oil Corporation, MFR PC, NRG Energy / Reliant, Petrobras, Plains All American Pipeline, RRI Energy, S & B Infrastructure, Service Corporation International, Solvay, Southern Union Pacific, Spectra Energy, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Sysco Corporation, Texas Children's Hospital, Texas Petrochemicals, TransCanada, Transocean, United Space Alliance, Vinson & Elkins, Waste Management, and Williams.

"At El Paso Corporation, we are committed to develop the leaders and skilled workforce that allow us to compete at the top of the energy industry. Since 2004, we have partnered with Genesys Works to help develop and cultivate students in IT, Engineering, and Finance," says Oscar Gonzales, Vice President, IT Operations for El Paso Corporation. "With the leadership and vision of Genesys Works, El Paso has had the opportunity to directly impact promising high school students through daily mentorship in a professional setting. The Genesys Works model is truly a 'win-win-win' for our city's aspiring young professionals, Houston's economic and competitive future, and El Paso," he continued.

Technical training through 20 Days, 20 Ways is led by Genesys Works staff and practitioners from the field and based on programmatic interest for each student in one of three concentrations -- information technology, engineering drafting or accounting and finance. The four core competencies addressed through 20 Days, 20 Ways are job skills, effective communication, reliability and dependability, and values and behavior. In addition to technical training, invited speakers participate to share how these competencies are valued at their company and/or how these competencies are important in personal development as a professional. 

Genesys Works has a lot to be proud of in Houston. First, 100% of their 2009/2010 students were placed in internships, despite a challenging financial environment. Second, more than 95% of 2008 & 2009 interns are enrolled in post-secondary professional education. Third, 75% of students who completed program are either still in college or have successfully graduated.

The organization, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit, also has an impressive financial portfolio. Genesys Works generates 80% of its revenue through its earned revenue internship placements, relying on 20% in charitable gifts -- an admirable ratio for a non-profit.

Ms. Jacobson adds, "We are fortunate that our national founder, Rafael Alvarez, set a standard for sustainability that would thrive in good times and bad. That said, philanthropic investments by individuals, corporations and foundations are critical in making our programs successful. We are grateful to our sponsors who are supporting 20 Days, 20 Ways this year: Accenture Partners, CenterPoint Energy, Copano Energy, El Paso Corporation, GE Oil & Gas, Hines Interest, KBR, Kinder Morgan Foundation, Solvay North America, Spectra Energy, Sysco Corporation, United Space Alliance and Waste Management."

20 Days, 20 Ways will wrap up with an event in mid-August to recognize sponsors and introduce students. For more information on the program, interview opportunities or to attend the wrap-up event, please contact Jennifer Evans (

About Genesys Works Houston

The mission of Genesys Works is to enable economically disadvantaged high school students to enter and thrive in the economic mainstream by providing them the knowledge and work experience required to succeed as professionals. Our vision is to help create a culture for all inner-city high schools in which the pursuit of a professional career is the norm for all students. Empowered by the training we provide, combined with real-world experience in some of America's top corporations, students who participate in the Genesys Works program are prepared for success in college and beyond. Our downtown Houston office is located in the KBR Tower.

For more information about Genesys Works, please visit our website, become a fan of our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @hougenesysworks. To schedule an interview, live shot opportunity or for more photo images, please contact Jennifer Evans.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jennifer L. Evans
    Genesys Works Public Relations
    Direct: 832-692-7615
    Email Contact