It’s no secret that talented digital marketers are in high demand in New York City. Agencies will search high and low for the right Google-certified candidate: one who’s not only qualified but also the right cultural fit for the agency. In a whirlpool of countless resumes, how can students stand out?
The idea for CO•OP College came in response to these questions, especially as founder Kalani Leifer was considering the dilemma of inner-city students in New York struggling to find work in digital/tech fields despite having completed bachelor’s degrees.
“These are students who defied the odds of their upbringing and made it out of the inner city to university,” explains Leifer, “but still get swamped in the competitiveness of the industry after graduating, despite their skills.”
CO•OP is a non-profit, 4-month apprenticeship journey, training a select group of students to Google-standard competency in industry skills, business savvy and problem-solving. Students complete an intensive 1-month ‘boot camp’ and then move onto a 3-month apprenticeship with a Google Partner agency. Kalani was inspired by both the apprenticeship program in Switzerland – where nearly two-thirds of new employees complete an apprentice program – and by his former students in the Bronx, NY.
6S is offering our utmost support of this initiative, and we want to help CO•OP gain the funds and awareness necessary to succeed. They’ve put together a great indiegogo campaign. Make sure to check out the above video, where you can meet some of this year’s cohort and see our own President Chris Breikss discussing the need for CO•OP, too.
CO•OP is exclusive to New York City right now; the program has just kicked off its pilot run. 12 recent grads from the City University of New York are beginning “boot-camp” training – learning not only digital skills, but foundational assets like problem-solving and business writing – and will soon be matched with Google Partner agencies to gain invaluable experience. With the help of others, Kalani and his team can continue the program in NYC for many years to come – and expand to further cities and deserving neighborhoods, too. It’s an initiative that will benefit young minds and digital agencies alike.