The U.S. remains unprepared for an emerging tech workforce. In 2016, nearly 3 million more STEM positions were available than workers who could fill them.
In an effort to face the STEM talent shortage, the Fund II Foundation (F2F) has announced internX, a new internship platform designed to help companies recruit diverse talent by pairing students with internship opportunities.
F2F is a non-profit organization founded by Black billionaire Robert F. Smith aimed at building opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM.
The tech entrepreneur unveiled the program at the The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. while hosting a gathering of corporate CEOs and academics from across the country to discuss building a sustainable ecosystem for interns.
“This convening is not a diversity and inclusion conference per se,” said Smith, who is also CEO, president and founder of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, in the news release. “It’s a business conference because if America is going to remain competitive in the global economy in the age of digital disruption, business and academia must collaborate on engaging the best and brightest talent from underrepresented communities of color.”
In addition to matching students with internship opportunities, internX will also provide program participants with resources to succeed in their roles and ensure students enter inclusive work environments
F2F is aiming to provide 10,000 internships by 2020 and is seeking participation pledges from companies. Bank of America, Texas Medical Center, United Way Worldwide, and SAP Labs, LLC have pledged a combined 1,000 intern positions in their companies.
“This is why we built internX, to ensure a win-win for everyone,” Smith said.