Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Accenture Teams with i.c.stars to Help Young Adults Build IT Skills

Through committing volunteer resources and skills, Accenture is supporting the growth of i.c.stars, a Chicago-based not-for-profit devoted to helping adults with high school degrees enhance their technology skills and obtain jobs in the local community.

The effort is part of Accenture’s corporate citizenship focus—Skills to Succeed—which concentrates on building skills that enable people to develop themselves to participate in and contribute to the economy. Working with i.c.stars, Accenture is devoting a cross-functional team to the organization’s process improvement initiative. The program, which Accenture will manage over a 12-week period, is designed to free leadership from day-to-day tasks, enable more strategic growth and expand training and development capabilities.

“Accenture is delivering corporate volunteerism on a whole new level,” said i.c.stars Vice President Eric Lannert. “The company is taking ownership of a process improvement project by managing it end-to-end. This is the type of project a not-for-profit simply cannot implement on its own, due to lack of skill set and bandwidth. In fact, the skills needed are above and beyond the average volunteer pool.”

“As part of Accenture’s commitment to building skills that benefit both individuals and their families as well as the communities in which they live and work, we are helping i.c.stars energize and develop individuals to find employment,” said Bob Kress, senior executive at Accenture. “Moreover, our work with the organization draws on our passion, experience and commitment to developing and nurturing talent.”

According to Lannert, i.c.stars is already seeing benefits from the project. He estimates 57 percent growth this year over last year, due in large part to the progress Accenture has made. In particular, the project is generating results in the area of recruiting through improved process definition.

About i.c.stars

Formed in 1999, i.c.stars is a non-profit organization in Chicago for adults with a high school diploma or GED. Using project-based learning and full-immersion teaching, i.c.stars provides opportunities to develop skills in business and technology. i.c.stars’ goal is to develop 1,000 Community Leaders by 2020.

i.c.stars places 100 percent of its qualified graduates in jobs with average annual earnings of $35,700. Before completing the program, participants typically earn around $16,600. In 2006, i.c.stars partnered with DePaul University to ensure that all i.c.stars alumni are admitted to the CTI and SNL Bachelors of Science program. Learn more on the Web at or

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