From its start in 1996, VE has focused on the future—the future of our students, our workforce, our business partners, and our communities—and 2017-18 was no exception. In its 21st year of operation, VE programs brought practical career experience to 13,000 middle and high school students from 400 schools across the United States. Our students launched and operated businesses, engaged in trade with other student-run enterprises across the globe and demonstrated their skills and knowledge at conferences, exhibitions, and competitions. Along the way, they gained confidence in their abilities and saw new possibilities for their futures.
While the number of schools and students we serve rises each year, our mission remains constant—to transform students’ lives through authentic business experiences that prepare them for fulfilling, financially secure futures. Adam Yafei, whose story is highlighted in this report, is one of many VE students whose lives were transformed by the program. Today, Adam is making his mark in the business world at Deloitte, where he has been a valued employee for four-plus years.
But Adam’s story is about more than his own success. It also reveals VE’s role in developing a talent pipeline for businesses that are in dire need of workers who possess the key 21st-century skills that are at the heart of the VE curriculum—collaboration and teamwork, problem-solving, information and technology literacy, and global awareness, among others.
In recent years, VE has focused intensely on issues related to the “Future of Work.” With the support of the VE Board of Directors and our National Advisory Council, we have met with leaders, experts, and researchers in the areas of workforce development, labor market analysis, and talent strategy and management to learn how VE can best prepare students for the 21st-century workplace. We have also convened industry leaders from a broad array of companies and sectors—Deloitte, Viacom, HSBC, Intuit, Nielsen, Google, Amazon, Salesforce and many more—to gain insight into the opportunities and challenges in the current business landscape and their impact on the future of jobs and talent. These are important steps that will continue in the coming years.
As VE moves forward, we will continue to stay focused on the future while enhancing the lives of our students and the vitality of our workforce today.
Virtual Enterprises International