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Cognizant's new program will aim to improve the lives of workers around the world, training one million individuals for gainful employment by 2026 

TEANECK, N.J.Oct. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) today announced the official launch of its groundbreaking training initiative, Synapse, aimed at empowering more than one million individuals with cutting-edge technology skills—like generative artificial intelligence (AI)—for the digital age. Together with governments, academic institutions, businesses, and other strategic partners, Cognizant's program will leverage evolving AI technology and the company's premier tech services to up-prepare individuals for the future workforce. Cognizant also intends to build a consortium of partners for training and jobs which then will employ individuals who are upskilled through the Synapse program. 

Cognizant's Synapse initiative will reskill one million people with tech skills to enhance future employability.

The initiative draws on Cognizant's longstanding expertise on training and educating a global workforce and expansive expertise across global geographies and digital technologies. By reaching underserved communities, marginalized groups, and individuals with limited access to traditional education, the initiative was created with the goal of driving meaningful change and create pathways to success that were previously unreachable for many individuals. Cognizant's Synapse will provide training ranging from basic digital literacy to generative AI, and will achieve this 1,000,000-person tech training milestone through: 

  1. Skills Accelerator: The Company anticipates equipping 200,000 jobseekers with in-demand tech skills through innovative, sponsored upskilling programs. Upon completion of online coursework followed by an assessment to gauge how well they have mastered the material, learners will possess the skills needed to pursue a career in technology. High-scoring participants will be shortlisted for a specialized Cognizant "train-to-hire" program or interview with Cognizant or one of its Synapse partners for a job opportunity.  
  2. Technology Partnerships: Enabled by the technology ecosystem in which Cognizant operates—including organizations like India's NASSCOM and the Cognizant Google Cloud AI University—Cognizant expects to provide training to 200,000 people to help open up the technology market to a new workforce pool for the first time.  
  3. Apprenticeships: Working with universities, community colleges, and workforce development groups, Cognizant expects to support thousands of individuals as apprentices and equip them with the experience and capabilities that incorporate emerging technologies such as generative AI. Aimed at entry-level individuals and mid-career professionals, Cognizant apprenticeships are designed to help people launch their careers in technology. Our apprenticeship program—together with a new employer consortium to be convened by Cognizant and partners—is expected to produce a "Talent Pipeline as a Service," or TPaaS, aimed to both build the future workforce equipped with the experience and capabilities in emerging technologies; and to drive impact in their communities.   
  4. Community Education: Cognizant's corporate social responsibility efforts reach hundreds of organizations worldwide, impacting millions of individuals. Through philanthropic grants, volunteerism and mentoring, and education partnerships, this focused effort is expected to reach 300,000 individuals.  
  5. Employee Skilling: Through Cognizant's award-winning learning and development platform, the company expects to upskill more than 200,000 of its 345,000 own employees over the life of the initiative, pulling on the most relevant technologies including generative AI.

    The balance of the Cognizant Synapse skilling commitment will be met through a combination of apprenticeships, corporate philanthropy grants, and new hire training. 

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. businesses alone have nearly three million positions they are unable to fill with those numbers set to grow in the coming years if the problem remains unaddressed. Cognizant set out to discover why. Repeatedly, Cognizant heard from government officials, educators, community leaders, clients, and fellow tech providers that many of the three million open jobs are not being filled because the workforce lacks specific skills and capabilities. Simply put: There is a wide technical divide between new jobs and workers. And recent research published in Forbes also indicates that U.S. executives and employees believe nearly half of the skills required to succeed in today's workplace will not be relevant just two years from now, requiring employers to invest in the reskilling of the working population and the future generations of employees. 

That's where Cognizant's Synapse comes in. The Synapse initiative is designed to revolutionize and rebalance the landscape of tech education and workforce development by redefining opportunities for more than one million individuals around the globe and resulting in a new, employable talent pool for the future digital economy by 2026. The initiative draws upon Cognizant's heritage as a tech re-skiller, the company's deep industry and government partnerships, and its expansive expertise across global geographies, industries, and digital technologies. Since 2018, Cognizant has worked closely with global organizations to invest in training opportunities for those in the tech field and has awarded $70 million to support 70 leading global organizations and non-profits committed to skilling. Earlier this year, Cognizant expanded its partnership with Google Cloud to provide robust training resources for tech talent development on Google Cloud and promote the responsible use of AI.  

"Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and the demand for creative, tech-savvy individuals is skyrocketing," said Cognizant CEO Ravi Kumar S. "Through this sweeping reskilling endeavor, we are striving to equip one million individuals with the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in the digital economy. Cognizant's Synapse initiative is not just about education; it's about empowering people to shape their own destinies and creating employment pathways that meet the needs of tomorrow's employers." 

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