What’s the news: Inspired by advocates who created pathways to prosperity for Black Americans, T-Mobile is announcing three new programs that will give students, tech professionals and business owners access to valuable financial, educational and career-development resources: Magenta Scholars, the NextTech Diversity Program and Magenta Edge.
Why it matters: Change happens when everyone has equitable access to resources, and these three programs will provide just that for Black Americans. Stats tell the story of opportunity: Students with financial support graduate at twice the rate of Black students overall. Black workers with access to career training and resources can break barriers in a network-infrastructure workforce that currently is comprised of just 10% Black technicians. Black-owned businesses will benefit from access to free workshops and advice from experts, particularly as they have been twice as likely to close permanently than white-owned businesses because of the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Who it’s for: Students at historically Black colleges and universities, aspiring diverse workers in the tech and telecom industries and Black small business owners — and allies who support them.
Bellevue, Wash. — Feb. 8, 2021 —This Black History Month, T-Mobile is introducing three innovative programs with the goal of helping create more opportunities for Black communities across the nation. The initiatives — Magenta Scholars, the NextTech Diversity Program and Magenta Edge — will provide resources and support to Black students, tech workers and business owners as they build their education, careers and livelihoods. These educational and professional development programs are the Un-carrier’s latest actions to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) within T-Mobile and beyond.
“During Black History Month, T-Mobile is taking inspiration from the legacies of Black leaders as we continue doing our part to advance equity across the country,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “The Un-carrier has long stood for diversity, equity and inclusion to better serve our customers, improve how we work together and advance our communities. With these new programs, we hope to continue to do our part in creating meaningful opportunities for Black Americans across the country and provide resources they need as they build their own legacies.”
Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce, and by investing in their journeys T-Mobile is investing in America’s future. T-Mobile’s Magenta Scholars program will donate $500,000 to create 18 scholarships for students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The program is a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which boasts an impressive 80-90% graduation rate among its scholars — more than double the national graduation rate for Black students overall. Scholarship recipients will also have an opportunity to join the Un-carrier's signature summer internship program and receive mentorship and professional development opportunities. The application period opens Feb. 18 and scholarships will be awarded in the fall of 2021.
Additionally, on Feb. 9, the T-Mobile Tuesdays app will give T-Mobile customers a way to support the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. For every customer that clicks on the donation option in the app, T-Mobile will donate $1 to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (up to $500,000; minimum of $250,000), contributing to gap scholarships that help students meet outstanding financial obligations in order to graduate.
NextTech Diversity Program
Black technicians make up just 10% of the telecom network-infrastructure field, an industry with tens of thousands of open positions that offer the potential for long-term, lucrative careers to those with applicable skills and certification. Over the next five years the NextTech Diversity Program aims to provide career training and placement for thousands of underrepresented candidates to take on roles as 5G network technicians. The program kicks off with nearly $1 million in funding, starting with $750,000 in initial seed funding from T-Mobile and another $150,000 from other telecommunications partners. Telecom trade school The Learning Alliance will oversee recruitment, training, certification and job placement of candidates as they create long-term careers in roles such as tower climber, 5G small cell and field tech.
Sixty candidates will join the program in 2021, and T-Mobile is inviting all national and regional telecom partners to contract directly with The Learning Alliance to sponsor even more candidates.
Black-owned small businesses in the U.S. have suffered exponentially during the COVID-19 crisis and are about twice as likely to close their doors permanently compared to other businesses. A primary driver for this disparity is a longstanding, systemic lack of access to resources and capital, including difficulty getting business loans. Magenta Edge offers all entrepreneurs expert advice and insight on how to navigate these historically difficult times through the lens of Black-owned small business owners and their stories. Magenta Edge provides free educational programming on subjects such as best practices for entrepreneurs while addressing systemic barriers to Black small-business success. This is just the initial phase of Magenta Edge, which will expand to supply additional resources in the coming years.
Visit Magenta Edge for updates on programming, new content and small-business support. Virtual workshops begin Feb. 11 and registration is now open.
These new programs are pieces of T-Mobile’s broader work to further diversity, equity and inclusion among the company’s customers, employees and communities it serves.
Learn more about how T-Mobile is celebrating Black History here.
T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is America’s supercharged Un-carrier, delivering an advanced 4G LTE and transformative nationwide 5G network that will offer reliable connectivity for all. T-Mobile’s customers benefit from its unmatched combination of value and quality, unwavering obsession with offering them the best possible service experience and undisputable drive for disruption that creates competition and innovation in wireless and beyond. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint. For more information please visit: https://www.t-mobile.com.