NEW YORK–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) –Reebok, in partnership with the online education platform yellow brick, national education and non-profit workforce JFF, and sneaker and fashion retailer APB, today announced the launch of an online education and mentoring program aimed at helping young people between the ages of 17 and 20 develop industry-relevant knowledge, skills and experience. The program represents the shared commitment of the four organizations to provide access to education and professional navigation opportunities in the sneaker industry.
Based on a successful pilot project in 2020 that served 15 learners from non-traditional backgrounds, this outreach program will expand to 50 applicants in Tallahassee, Charleston and select cities. The online program material will be based on content from Yellowbrick’s popular Sneaker Essentials course, which was created with FIT & Complex. To this core program, Reebok will add exclusive content and make business leaders available for live mentoring sessions and portfolio reviews. Contributions to the study program will also be made through APBYOU, APB’s community and educational platform.
The Sneaker Essentials course ends with a wrap-up project in which students will create their own shoe designs. Three learners will be selected to gain valuable industry experience by refining, producing and marketing their own sneakers. The course provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills and explore their career landscape in a model aligned with key industries. The final design of the sneakers will be available from APB, the exclusive commercial partner of the program. The net proceeds will be used to fund additional cohorts of the program, which the partners hope to expand to other cities in 2022.
This partnership comes at a time when the creative economy is facing significant volatility due to the COVID-19 crisis and a potential post-pandemic; especially in underserved communities. In the United States, an estimated 2.7 million people lost their jobs in the cultural and creative industries between April and July 2020. While stimulus programs for the creative economy have focused on directly supporting workers and institutions, in the absence of a sustained national creative economy strategy, public-private partnerships that help learners explore and seize opportunities in the creative sector have great potential for impact. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the creative economy is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. This partnership and the Sneaker Essentials course serve as a response to this trajectory and time of economic and cultural recovery with an innovative model – one that engages learners in industry-aligned pathways as we bounce back and rebuild after this time. crisis. The program aims to create opportunities and access to knowledge and resources that too often are not made available to young men and women in key cities of this program.
“At JFF, we identify effective new models that support opportunities for economic advancement for all,” said Stephen Yadzinski, Senior Innovation Manager, JFF. “We have found that the most impactful programs provide measurable access to industry-focused education and mentoring. The Yellowbrick program in partnership with Reebok and APB creates a unique and engaging opportunity for students to explore careers in industries and with brands that interest them, learning valuable skills along the way.
“Less than a year ago, Reebok made a commitment to create programs that will nurture young talent and foster diversity in the industry. This program with Yellowbrick and JFF and APB is a great example of the work we do, ”said Sean Finucane, Vice President, Wholesale at Reebok. “By educating and developing talented young people and connecting them directly with established designers and executives on our team, we are able to expose them to the multiple career paths that exist within our incredible industry. ”
“Our Sneaker Essentials course has been a staple of Yellowbrick’s industry specific offerings for years, but now, by working with Reebok, APB and JFF, we are able to take it to the next level,” said Dion Walcott, Vice President, Brand Partnerships. for Yellowbrick. “Our partners are committed to making this experience a life-changing experience for learners entering the program, and we are excited to open as many doors as possible in the exciting sneaker industry.”
To learn more about the program, visit https://www.yellowbrick.co/reebok
Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Boston, MA, USA, is a leading global designer, distributor and distributor of footwear, apparel, and fitness and lifestyle equipment. American-inspired global brand, Reebok is a pioneer in the sporting goods industry with a rich and rich heritage in fitness. Reebok develops products, technologies and programs that enable movement and is committed to supporting people on their journey to realize their potential. Reebok connects with fitness consumers wherever they are and however they choose to stay in shape, whether it’s functional training, running, walking, dancing, yoga or aerobics. Reebok Classics builds on the brand’s fitness heritage and represents the brand’s roots in the sports lifestyle market. For more information, visit Reebok at www.reebok.com or, for the latest news, at http://news.reebok.com/
JFF is a national non-profit organization that is driving transformation of the U.S. workforce and education systems. For more than 35 years, JFF has led the way by designing innovative and scalable solutions that allow everyone to access economic progress. Join us as we build a future that works. www.jff.org
Yellowbrick is a global leader in online education and career exploration for the arts, media, entertainment and sports industries. The company develops exciting and accessible online programs in collaboration with top brands and influencers in media and culture and with world-renowned universities. Their mission is to help a new generation of talent discover, pursue and advance career paths that match what they love. For more information, visit www.yellowbrick.co.
All Points Bulletin (APB) is one of the banners of The Whitaker Group, the award-winning retail group owned by fashion entrepreneur James Whitner, recipient of the 2020 Retailer of the Year award by Footwear News. With locations in Tallahassee, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Jacksonville, APB offers an experience and brand assortment for the evolving young consumer, connecting sneaker and apparel brands with youth culture.