SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This month, 1,200 teens and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 started a 10-week paid internship with Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) at select Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Gap Inc.’s This Way Ahead program was launched in 2007 to help young people gain the skills and experience needed to land their first job. This year, the company’s summer jobs training program expanded to Miami and Vancouver, and has doubled the number of interns participating from last year. About 300 Gap Inc. stores in 15 cities will host interns this summer.
In 2016, over 70 percent of This Way Ahead graduates received job offers from Gap Inc. after completing their internships. The company created This Way Ahead in response to the ongoing challenges facing unemployed youth. Research shows that getting a first job as a teenager has a profound impact on an individual’s long-term earning potential. For example, being unemployed young can reduce earnings by as much as 20 percent for up to two decades.
The program has also generated proven talent and business benefits for the company. This Way Ahead graduates stay with the company twice as long as their peers and have higher engagement scores than their co-workers. Additionally, the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy employees who volunteer to coach interns develop leadership and mentoring skills. Last year, the company announced its commitment to hire five percent of all new entry-level store employees from graduates of This Way Ahead by 2025.
Prior to beginning their store internships this month, interns participated in job readiness and training sessions with nonprofit organizations. In each city, Gap Inc. partners with local nonprofits that have strong ties to their communities and a track record of running effective job training and life skills programs. Course curriculum includes fundamentals such as resume writing and time management, supplemented by workshops facilitated by Gap Inc. employee volunteers.
About This Way Ahead
Launched in 2007, Gap Inc.’s This Way Ahead program currently operates in 15 cities, including Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; Toronto, Canada; Vancouver, Canada; Birmingham, England; London, England; and Manchester, England. By 2020, the company expects 10,000 teens and young adults will have participated in This Way Ahead, receiving job coaching and critical first job experience. To learn more about This Way Ahead, visit http://www.gapincsustainability.com/way-ahead.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, Intermix and Weddington Way brands. Fiscal year 2016 net sales were $15.5 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,200 company-operated stores, about 450 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.