How Genesys Works is helping Best Buy, 3M and Capella strengthen Twin Cities teens through Tech experience

by Tristan Pollock


Genesys Works When you think of Best Buy, 3M and Capella, you may picture electronics, Post-it notes and homework.

Now, thanks to a partnership with Genesys Works, these three Minnesota technology companies (amongst other orgs) have a means of giving back to Twin Cities’ teens by providing real world technology skills.

Genesys Works helps inner-city high school students join the economic mainstream through technical training and meaningful internship with large companies. “We provide an unparalleled opportunity including a year-long work internship and eight-weeks of pre-job training,” explains Genesys Works Executive Director Jeff Tollefson. “It is not a job shadow.”

The aim is that these students will get a taste of what they are capable of in today’s ever increasing technology-dependent world. Students have done everything from PC development and imaging to configuring servers and IT help desk (which is part of the job description for three Richfield students placed at Best Buy headquarters).

Currently Genesys Works Twin Cities is in its third year and has grown from sixteen students in 2008 to 102 in 2010. “95-percent of students go onto college and 75-percent are succeeding (graduating in a four-six year plan),” Tollefson says. “We provide students with help on college applications, finding scholarships and FAFSA.”

Started in Houston, the potential for Genesys Works’ success is seemingly endless and cities across America are calling for further scaling.  The nonprofit was even praised by U.S. President Barack Obama in a recent speech.  Below is a short video produced by the St. Paul school district highlighting the effectiveness of Genesys Works: