Helping diversify DC’s IT industry

While the D.C. region has many openings for high-tech careers, many jobs are inaccessible for the economically disadvantaged.

Genesys Works gives access to the technology and IT industries by training young adults, says executive director Mahan Tavakoli.

“We place them in internships in companies in the region, and help them with college access,” Tavakoli told What’s Working in Washington. The group works hard to find applicants from diverse backgrounds and communities, he said.

Tavakoli...

READ MORE

While the D.C. region has many openings for high-tech careers, many jobs are inaccessible for the economically disadvantaged.

Genesys Works gives access to the technology and IT industries by training young adults, says executive director Mahan Tavakoli.

“We place them in internships in companies in the region, and help them with college access,” Tavakoli told What’s Working in Washington. The group works hard to find applicants from diverse backgrounds and communities, he said.

Tavakoli says much of the region “lack[s] diversity, and we lack initiative to change the way things are right now.”

“We work with those students, talk to them about technology, interest them about technology, and then train them in both technology and professional skills, and let them gain some experience in professional environments, so they can aspire to become technologists,” said Tavakoli.

Tavakoli was inspired to work on Genesys Works during his 20 years of business experience in both the D.C. region and abroad. He noticed both the need for a larger workforce as well as “the challenges that we have in the community, and the disconnect,” and decided something had to be done, he said.

A number of area businesses have partnered with Genesys Works for its programs, including AT&T, Intelsat, and Caliber systems.

“There are a lot of technology companies that realize they need to invest in the development of the workforce of the future, and also bring an element of diversity to their tech teams,” said Tavakoli.

Listen to entire June 19 show: