Scott Cummings, AchieveMpls board member and Accenture Minnesota Market Lead, is the recipient of our one-time Innovation Award, which recognizes his dedication to young people and his exceptional leadership during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to help ensure that students can continue to access vital career and college resources and opportunities. Scott will be honored at our October 14 Evening of Excellence Virtual House Party, which will live-stream at 7 p.m.
Scott gives generously of his time and expertise on the Achieve board of directors and is particularly dedicated to leveraging professional and technical resources for our career and college readiness programs. But he went above and beyond during the difficult challenges of the pandemic to create innovative strategies and partnerships that directly supported participants in the Step Up Youth Employment Program and Achieve College Internships.
As COVID-19 hit in spring of 2020 and many Step Up employers hit pause or withdrew from the program, Scott navigated a path forward. Through an Accenture online learning experience, Scott and his team ensured that Accenture’s Step Up interns could still access valuable career exploration opportunities and earn a summer wage.
He then helped expand upon Accenture’s initial internship commitment to Step Up, collaborating with other companies who had cancelled their Step Up plans so that their interns could join Accenture for a six-week virtual career exploration experience. Through his leadership of a partnership that included Accenture, Allianz, Xcel Energy and a generous community funder, he also helped secure financial resources to fund intern wages.
In 2021, Scott worked with the City of Minneapolis to secure wage subsidy support for paid virtual learning experience internships, and he was instrumental in creating high level career exposure opportunities for Step Up interns – and other interns across the country – through virtual events with the CEOs of Allianz, U.S. Bank and Xcel Energy, along with other corporate leaders.
Scott also supported our new Achieve College Internships program in 2020 and 2021 by providing access to an Accenture online learning curriculum for our college interns and organizing a panel of talent acquisition leaders to guide them in developing and strengthening their skills for job interviews and the workplace.
More broadly, he has played key leadership roles with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Talent and Workforce Task Force and with the development of the Minnesota Apprenticeship Network, which is providing new professional career-track apprenticeship opportunities together with GreaterMSP’s ConnextMSP platform.
Our tremendous thanks to Scott for his innovative leadership to ensure that our students can access the resources and support they need for meaningful, life-enriching careers, and to help our employers build and diversify their workforce to keep our communities strong and vital.