AT&T Issue Briefs

Our issue briefs provide additional details on topics identified as most important by our stakeholders. View all the issue briefs on the Reporting Library for a comprehensive overview or choose an issue in the drop-down menu.


Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
Building digital skills MA; 203-1; 203-2

Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
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Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Building digital skills

Stakeholder Engagement Topics
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Our Position


We invest our company’s resources and knowledge to advance access to education and training to ensure the workforces of today and tomorrow have the capabilities needed to thrive.





Our Goals


2020 Goal: We will invest resources, develop initiatives and collaborate with stakeholders with the goal of increasing the U.S. high school graduation rate to 90% by the class of 2020. 1 1 Graduation rate as measured by GradNation, a campaign of America’s Promise Alliance:
2025 Goal: We will invest resources, develop initiatives and collaborate with stakeholders to close the skills gap by increasing the number of Americans with high-quality post-secondary degrees or credentials to 60% by 2025. 2 2 Degree/credential rate as measured by the Lumina Foundation:



Targets & Progress

2020 TARGET: Invest in education and training programs that use technology to address education challenges, help students get through high school and beyond, and provide the skills needed to get and keep good jobs.


PROGRESS: Since 2008, we’ve committed more than $550 million to programs that help students as part of the AT&T Aspire program.



2020 TARGET: Support technology applications that solve educational challenges through the AT&T Aspire Accelerator.



PROGRESS: In 2019, to celebrate the 5th year of the Accelerator, we launched the Aspire Accelerator $1 Million Skills Building Challenge, which provides financial investment, access to expert services and mentorship to education startups dedicated to skills development. The participants from the 5 previous Accelerator classes are currently reaching more than 32 million students and have attracted more than $48 million in funding after graduation.



2025 TARGET: Promote STEM training through ongoing education programs.



PROGRESS: In 2019, we continued to invest in credentialing, certification or specialized degree programs that help propel students in their careers. Highlights include:

  • Supported Udacity Nanodegree programs that provide online educational pathways to industry-relevant skills,
  • Contributed to General Assembly to help to democratize access to digital skills and credentials via online bootcamps and scholarship delivery to the AT&T Aspire network and
  • Collaborated with the University of Texas at El Paso, Hampton University, Champlain College and others to create opportunities for degrees or certifications in specialized fields.



2025 TARGET: Host 200 Year Up interns annually by 2022.



PROGRESS: In 2019, we hosted 63 Year Up interns in AT&T offices around the U.S.




Our Action

AT&T invests in education and job training to create a skilled and diverse workforce that powers our company – and our country – for the future. We’re committed to developing and supporting programs and initiatives for our employees and our communities that provide opportunities to train for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Our efforts include initiatives that promote success in school and provide job skills development to support a well-educated and future-ready workforce.

Skilling Our Workforce

Over the years, AT&T has evolved from a telephone company to a mobility company to an integrated media and communications company. We create a culture of continuous learning and help employees develop the skills needed today and in the future. These efforts encompass a wide range of initiatives, including personalized training, mentoring and career development programs offered through our award-winning internal training organization, AT&T University.

AT&T assesses the effectiveness of the initiative by measuring employee performance and career progression, as well as our ability to fill positions internally. Our metrics show that highly engaged employees – those who take part in our training and development initiatives – are:

  • 1.1X more likely to receive a higher performance rating at the end of the year
  • 1.3X more likely to receive a higher key contributor award at the end of the year
  • 1.7X more likely to receive a promotion
  • 1.9X more likely to progress in role
  • 2.1X more likely to move laterally
  • 1.6X less likely to leave the company

Additionally, 81% of our technical jobs were filled internally.

Skills Transformation 

AT&T monitors employee training through an online platform called the Personal Learning Experience, where all online training is booked, completed and logged for every employee. Of the approximately 18 million hours of training recorded in 2019, more than 2 million hours were devoted to skills transformation. As of 2019, almost 90% of AT&T management employees have engaged in skilling programs provided or subsidized by the company.

We also work with external organizations – such as Coursera – to help create opportunities for our employees and the public. These programs can lead to degrees or certifications in specialized fields. 

Since 2014, AT&T has also collaborated with Udacity, a premier online learning platform, to create a series of Nanodegree credentials in web development, data analysis, programming and others. 

AT&T also collaborates with public and private universities for a variety of degree programs, including: 

  • University of Oklahoma – Master of science in data science & analytics
  • Notre Dame – Master of science in data science
  • North Carolina A&T State University, a historically Black college & university 
    • Master of business administration 
    • Master of science in information technology
    • Master of science in technology management 
  • University of Texas El Paso – Master of science in systems engineering, a Hispanic serving institution 
  • Hampton University – Master of cybersecurity, a historically Black college & university
  • Champlain College – Bachelor of science in cybersecurity

Please visit Our Workforce issue brief for more information on compensation and benefits initiatives to attract and retain critical talent.

Building the Future Pipeline: AT&T Aspire 
As a modern media company, we recognize that skills gaps are not unique to one industry or one area of expertise. Access to the education and training people need to get, and keep, good jobs is a key focus for AT&T. Research shows that approximately 15% of students fail to graduate with their high school class. 3 3 National Center for Education Statistics: And many of those who do graduate on time are not properly prepared to further their education or to succeed in the workplace. At the same time, to compete in the global economy, the technology and media industries need a qualified, robust and diverse talent pipeline to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow. AT&T believes companies such as ours have an obligation to help students graduate from school and make sure they are prepared to meet the skilled employment needs of the future.

That’s why AT&T invests in education and job training to help develop a skilled and diverse workforce that can better prepare our company – and our country – for the future. Through the AT&T Aspire initiative, we help provide access to the education and training. Since 2008, we have committed more than $550 million to programs serving millions of students around the world to help them discover their career passions and potential.

We measure the success of AT&T Aspire donations by tracking positive results as well as the number of students impacted. For example, for a portion of our Aspire programs, we work with third-party researcher Westat to track student learning outcomes and the resulting social impact. Findings from this rigorous evaluation show that students in Aspire programs had better school attendance and higher GPAs than non-participating cohorts with similar backgrounds. Students participating in Aspire-funded programs that stay on track to graduate result in an estimated lifelong social benefit of $84.3 million to $215.8 million in greater lifetime income and taxes.

We support programs and organizations that help increase economic opportunity by innovating education, supporting students and powering careers in the areas of technology and media.

Innovation in Education

Because technology can help make it easier for everyone to learn anytime, anywhere, we’re investing in programs that help spark learning innovation designed to help students become workforce ready.

The AT&T Aspire Accelerator’s mission is to support innovations that have the potential to help every student achieve a bright, successful future – exponentially and at scale. In 2019, to celebrate the 5th year of the Accelerator, we launched the Aspire Accelerator $1 Million Skills Building Challenge. Participants from the 5 previous classes are currently reaching more than 32 million students and have attracted more than $48 million in funding after graduating from the program. Since launching in 2015, Accelerator participants have included 66% women-led companies and 49% minority-led companies. 

In Latin America, our ESCUELA+ program continues to offer some of the most advanced and complete TV education programming deployed in schools. As a catalyst for positive change in primary and secondary education, ESCUELA+ leaders work in collaboration with private companies, government departments of education and other stakeholders to positively transform the classroom experience. 

Active in 9 countries, the program provides classrooms with DIRECTV satellite technology, third-party educational content and support materials, innovative audio/visual classroom teaching methodology, specialized customer service, and ongoing communication and engagement. Approximately 80% of the participating schools are rural, which also makes the program one of the most active in the region toward bridging the digital divide. Since the start of the program, we have:

  • Reached more than 2 million students in 9,800 schools,
  • Trained more than 177,000 teachers,
  • Created more than 500 teaching support materials and
  • Added a 2nd day of weekly broadcast to the ESCUELA+ channel on DIRECTV Latin America to broadcast original, partner and ministry of education content.

In 2019, we also held a 2-day summit in Medellín, Colombia. Alongside Medellín’s Secretary of Education and other program allies, the III Iberian-American Congress’s ESCUELA+ Conference focused on addressing the digital divide and implementing innovative learning tools. The event featured lectures, workshops and activities for international specialists and teachers.

Supporting Students

AT&T is a lead supporter of the GradNation campaign. We work with education organizations to help students graduate high school prepared for the future. In 2019, our contributions included:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA): $1 million to support their Great Futures 2025, which strives to close the opportunity gap in developing club youth with the necessary employability skills to be future ready in the workplace.
  • City Year: $800,000 to support team sponsorships aimed at closing the gaps in high-need schools in 8 locations.
  • Communities In Schools (CIS): $2.26 million to support programming, including graduation coaches that work with site coordinators to help at risk 11th and 12th graders graduate and AT&T employee engagement activities.
  • Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG): $2.5 million to support high school success programming with new and existing state affiliates to help young people of truly great promise succeed both in school and on the job.
Technology and STEM Education

Technological advancements are improving our lives and changing the way we work. This evolution not only requires a focus on “hard” skills such as coding and data analytics, but also emphasizes the importance of the “soft” skills that technology cannot replace, including leadership, collaboration and effective decision-making. For that reason, AT&T is investing in programs that address the multidimensional nature of today’s skills gaps to prepare people for career success. Key 2019 contributions include:

  • Year Up: We have set a goal to host 200 interns annually through Year Up by 2022 as we seek to build an alternative career pathway into our company. Through the end of 2019, we’ve hosted a total of 91 Year Up interns across various business units.
  • Per Scholas: In 2019, AT&T contributed $350,000 to Per Scholas in support of tuition-free cybersecurity and software engineering career training and placement for low-income individuals in 5 U.S. cities, as well as a white paper on multi-sector partnerships in corporate tech pipeline advancement.
  • Genesys Works: In 2019, AT&T contributed $250,000 to help provide underserved high school students with hands-on work experience and career training. Genesys Works offers students intensive professional and technical skills development, career coaching and a paid yearlong internship at companies such as AT&T.
  • General Assembly: AT&T has supported General Assembly’s CodeBridge program (in collaboration with Per Scholas) since 2016. In 2019, we funded $300,000 to General Assembly to continue to democratize access to digital skills and credentials via online bootcamps and scholarship delivery to the AT&T Aspire network.
  • BUILD: In 2019, AT&T contributed $600,000 to support the expansion of BUILD’s Licensed Partnership program, enabling them to serve an additional 1,100 students across the country. By empowering students to develop and run their own small businesses, BUILD supplements traditional classroom instruction with real-world business experiences and critical skill-building for the future.
  • Roadtrip Nation: AT&T contributed $500,000 to Roadtrip Nation (RTN) to create an “Opportunity Youth Roadtrip,” providing a team of 3 youth with the chance to hit the road and interview leaders across America. The roadtrippers were participants from Year Up, the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership and Per Scholas, and throughout the course of the roadtrip in fall 2019, they interviewed leaders who were alumni of these same programs. These conversations and experiences, filmed using the RTN model and content production infrastructure, will be broadcast through public television, RTN media channels and AT&T education partnerships in summer 2020.
  • All Star Code: AT&T made a $400,000 contribution to support more than 600 students and alumni of the organization’s Summer Intensive Program, which trains young men of color in coding and entrepreneurial skills to help them achieve sustainable success.
  • Girls Who Code: AT&T made a $1.2 million contribution to support the implementation of 8 Summer Immersion Programs across the country in 2020, the implementation of the College Loops Program and the organization’s expansion to 10,000 clubs by May 2020.
  • Black Girls CODE: AT&T contributed $600,000 to support expanded reach to ensure more girls of color from underrepresented communities are getting access to technology and computer programming within 10 Black Girls CODE city chapters and support the development of their Alumnae/Ambassador Program.
  • Girls, Inc.: AT&T contributed $150,000 to support Girls Inc. STEM programming and opportunities through the implementation of new and innovative programs like G³, the continued expansion and sustainment of Eureka!, and the development and implementation of STEM-based partnerships.
  • SER-Jobs for Progress: AT&T contributed $125,000 to support the organization’s Propel Robotics program in 5 locations serving 150 opportunity youth, with an emphasis on female students and underrepresented minorities, to explore and pursue STEM fields of interest as they discover exciting career opportunities.
  • Techbridge Girls: AT&T gave $300,000 to support reaching 4,000 underserved girls with one-day STEM exploration and career development days in partnership with Expanding Your Horizons Network.
  • Laboratoria: AT&T Mexico supports Laboratoria to create the next generation of women web developers through an educational program in which young Mexican women will receive practical, accessible, comprehensive and job-oriented education. Once these young women graduate, they are connected with companies so that they can obtain jobs, including potentially with AT&T, that promote their professional development and raise their employment prospects.
Powering Careers: Media and Content Production

Within WarnerMedia, we strive to provide opportunities to those who haven’t had traditional pathways into the entertainment industry, so the stories we tell are more reflective of our audiences and everyone has an opportunity to see themselves represented on television, stage and film. Examples of our support include: 

  • WB Story Lab: WB Story Lab, launched in collaboration with Young Storytellers and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Division of Instruction and Arts Education Branch, is a superhero-inspired in-school program that aims to develop a generation of young people who value their voice and the voices of their peers. The program’s curriculum, taught to 6th grade middle school English language arts teachers, reinforces the core values of storytelling – confidence, empathy and creativity.
  • WB First Cut: A collaboration with non-profit Ghetto Film School and the Los Angeles Unified School District, WB First Cut uses a teach-the-teacher model to provide high school students high-quality filmmaking skills in the classroom. High school teachers are trained in the art of filmmaking and how to incorporate filmmaking into traditional lesson plans and assignments. This program provides students who have not traditionally had exposure to filmmaking with expanded opportunities.
  • HBO in Classrooms: Throughout the academic year, teachers and students can access select HBO programming, and Scholastic will provide educators with companion curriculum that complements the documentaries or specials. This collaboration aims to inspire students in grades 4 to 12 to engage in civic discourse.
  • WarnerMedia Production Assistant Training Programs: Through the HBO & Cinemax Community Impact Program and Warner Bros.’ Access to Action, HBO and Warner Bros. work with local film offices and community partners to identify diverse and underrepresented individuals for Production Assistant (PA) positions. The programs provide emerging talent who have not traditionally had pathways into the entertainment industry with PA job placements on HBO and Warner Bros. productions, fostering diversity throughout our workforce.
  • HBO Inspires Youth: The HBO Inspires Youth program utilizes the power of personal mentorship through employee engagement mentor programs in New York and Los Angeles. The 1-to-1 mentorship program is for at-risk high school students and focuses on awakening youth to their unique gifts, power and purpose by developing a rapport with employees who share their experiences – career paths, personal journeys and lessons learned – to help inspire the next generation of storytellers.
  • The Sundance Momentum Fellowship: The Sundance Momentum Fellowship is a yearlong program for emerging writers, directors and producers from underrepresented communities. The Fellowship includes professional mentorship, coaching, an artist sustainability grant, travel grants to the Sundance Film Festival and individually tailored year-round support. As part of the fellowship, the Warner Bros. Feature Film Directors Track was developed to support Fellows/emerging directors by providing access to studio executives, workshops and networking opportunities.
  • Hollywood CPR: Warner Bros. is a longtime supporter of Hollywood CPR, which provides vocational training in skills required for crafts and technical positions in the entertainment industry. Company support for the organization is ongoing and includes capacity building, placement for graduates and hosting career readiness opportunities at the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank.
  • Project Involve: WarnerMedia is the sponsor of Project Involve, a program that offers up-and-coming film professionals from underrepresented communities the opportunity to hone skills and gain the industry access necessary to succeed as working artists.

Please read more about how we support our employees and our communities in Our Workforce and Community Engagement issue briefs.