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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

AT&T, Junior Achievement Launch Job Shadow Initiative

Job Shadow Initiative Is Part of a National $100 Million AT&T Aspire Initiative to Promote High School Success and Workforce Readiness in Order to Help Prepare Students for the World of Work

San Ramon, October 7, 2008 — In an effort to encourage American high school students to stay in school and to increase their competitiveness with counterparts from other countries, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Junior Achievement today announced the launch of a multimillion dollar, multiyear job shadow initiative that will match 100,000 students with more than 50,000 AT&T employees to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness.

The nationwide five-year, $5.5 million program will launch this fall in 63 locations, including San Ramon where students from Amador Valley High School/Pleasanton, Benicia High School/Benicia, Concord High School/Concord, Farwest High School/Oakland, Fremont Federation/Oakland, Leadership Preparatory/Oakland, Sojourner Truth/Oakland, Valley High School/Dublin, Vanden High School/Fairfield, and Village High School/Pleasanton will join forces with AT&T employees. With 1.2 million American students dropping out of high school every year, initiatives such as the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow teach students about careers and help them see firsthand the educational background and skills they will need to succeed on the job.

“One of the best ways we can help our young people succeed in high school is to ensure that they see the connection between education and their best future,” said AT&T Senior Vice President Robin MacGillivray, Valued Client Group. “Across our company, the people of AT&T are proud to join forces with Junior Achievement to help students make that connection and go on to build great careers.”

The AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow is committing 400,000 employee volunteer hours to reach 100,000 students in grades 9-12. The program will bring students into the world of business through classroom instruction followed by on-site mentoring in which students get to interact with a wide range of AT&T employees, including technical and customer service representatives, product and service managers, and marketing and advertising executives.

“No matter what career they ultimately choose, the JA Job Shadow experience helps kids become ‘work ready’ by taking them into the workplace and showing them how education and training translate to success on the job,” said Linda McCracken, president of Junior Achievement of Northern California. “Seventy-nine percent of students participating in job shadowing report that the program increased their desire to stay in school, so this is clearly a proven way to improve high school success.”

Through the job shadow opportunity, McCracken added, students experience some of the interpersonal nuances of the workplace that are difficult to grasp in a classroom setting, such as the importance of negotiation, teamwork, cooperation with others, decision making and problem solving. Following participation in the initiative, students will be able to identify and demonstrate the work-readiness skills needed to research, get and keep a job — as well as develop personal strategies to achieve lifelong learning pursuits and career opportunities.

The job shadow initiative is part of the recently announced AT&T Aspire program, one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to high school retention and workforce readiness. The initiative is designed to support proven approaches to promoting educational success, from the classroom to the workplace.

Through the Aspire initiative, AT&T has committed $100 million (over four years, 2008-2011) to a range of efforts that includes:

  • Grants to schools and nonprofit organizations that are focused on helping students graduate from high school and become better prepared for college and/or the workforce.
  • The underwriting of national research that will explore the perspectives and best practices of practitioners (teachers, principals, superintendents, school counselors and school board members) on the high school dropout issue.
  • Support for 100 state and community dropout prevention summits, organized by America’s Promise Alliance to engage education experts and community leaders around the crisis and ways to address it.
Two of the major unions representing AT&T employees, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, are supporting the job shadow initiative.

Junior Achievement is a recognized leader in job shadowing and a key member of the National Job Shadow Coalition, which also includes AT&T, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor and America’s Promise Alliance. The AT&T program is the largest-ever corporate job shadow collaboration Junior Achievement has undertaken.

For more information about the AT&T Aspire initiative, please visit

Find More Information Online:

About Junior Achievement® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 138 individual area operations reach 4.2 million students in the United States, with an additional 4.3 million students served by operations in 118 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit or call 925-465-1074.

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