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Deloitte and Deloitte Foundation are Proud to Support PAST and the SMART Skills Workforce Development Program

By John White, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

The Deloitte Foundation collaborates with Deloitte leaders across the country to identify and support select U.S. education nonprofits that help prepare racially and ethnically diverse students and young women for the future of work and meaningful careers in business, accounting and STEM.


I recently visited the PAST Innovation Lab to tour the facility and present a one-time grant of $22,000 from the Deloitte Foundation to PAST for scholarships in support of the SMART Skills part of their 2024 Workforce Development Program. Through these funds, qualifying high school students from the Columbus area will have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials, while engaging in career exploration and skill-building activities in various STEM pathways.


In addition to supporting this program financially, several of our Columbus-based Deloitte professionals have provided instruction and support to the SMART Skills program over the past two summers. During last year’s SMART Skills Workforce Development activities, students engaged in real-world design challenges, impactful projects, and honed both their technical and soft skills. By the end of summer, the participants had worked 150 hours alongside several industry professionals and mentors, and earned 200+ certifications and credentials.


Deloitte professionals also helped the students write resumes and strengthen their job interview skills so they could present themselves to potential employers in a professional and confident manner. To further strengthen their technical skills, students participated in a simulated Crypto Project where they worked in small groups to develop a video game that would teach players about cryptocurrencies, incorporate crypto-security features, and develop marketing strategies to promote the game.


The broader SMART Workforce Development Program provides a transformative seven-week journey for central Ohio students. In addition to gaining hands-on experience, program participants earn industry-recognized credentials in various STEM career fields, including Information Technology, Drone Flight, CAD and Additive Manufacturing, Leadership, Cybersecurity, Financial Literacy, Media Production and more. The goal of this program is to help position students for success and prepare them to make valuable contributions in our rapidly evolving workforce.


These types of experiences can help equip the next generation with the technical proficiency that is demanded by today's job market, as well as with essential soft skills­ – including collaboration, teamwork, problem-solving and effective communication – that are so critical to career satisfaction and advancement.


While the students benefit from this program, there is no question the experience also provides Deloitte professionals like myself with an opportunity to give back in the central Ohio communities in which we live and work. We are excited to participate in the program again this summer, and proud that the Deloitte Foundation grant will help to expand the program to even more students.


About the Deloitte Foundation:

The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization that supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the next generation of diverse business leaders, and their influencers, and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The Foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefiting high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and educators. Learn more about the Deloitte Foundation.

*Please see for a detailed description of its legal structure.


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