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Zekita Armstrong Asuquo
Chair, Gateway Global American Youth and Business Alliance
President, Gateway Global Data Logistics Co.
Zekita Armstrong Asuquo is the Chair of Gateway Global American Youth and Business Alliance, an education and workforce management organization that facilitates tech based youth apprenticeships. Zekita is also President of Gateway Global Data Logistics Co., a MBE/WBE owned geospatial data firm headquartered in St. Louis, MO. She has been published and featured in some of the most influential news publications including ABC World News, The Root, Diversity Journal and Christianity Today. She has also been a guest on national and local radio shows of influencers like Roland S. Martin (Chicago), Rebecca Roberts (DC) and Charlie Brennan (STL). Zekita is a member of STLMADE GeoFutures regional economic development committee, member of St. Louis Opera Theatre Engagement and Inclusion Task Force, and former President of NAWBO St. Louis. Zekita earned a B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from Principia College and is a Master's of Management and Leadership Candidate at Maryville University. She has also earned a World Trade Center CCIT certification in International Trade from University of Missouri St. Louis. She currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her daughters Yanahni and Eno.
She brings the important and insightful message of bridging the gap between education, workforce and economic development!
Just over 60% of Americans do not have college degrees and 15% have some college,
but no degree. Financial reasons are often cited as the key reason a person does not
finish their college degree. The modern day and future workforce will require both
experience and high levels of education to be globally competitive. The key word is
“globally”. Today young Americans are no longer competing against each other for jobs,
they are competing against everyone in the entire world. What’s more alarming is that
the U.S. tech industry (one of the most critical to global competitiveness) has cited
hiring abilities as one of its biggest challenges. This means that we are not producing
enough skilled, educated, experienced, and motivated young people to lead critical
now and next generation industries.
“Entry to Executive” will help educators explore alternative pathways to higher education and workforce development. The session will present the challenges of K-12, under-served, poor urban and rural communities and solutions to guide young students on the path of lucrative career and even entrepreneurial choices in growing industries. Zekita will share data collected from across 7 zip codes meeting under-served, poor criteria. She will explain the model of tech-based apprenticeship being facilitated by Gateway Global American Youth and Business Alliance and how its goal is to cultivate talent pools and pipelines that will help keep U.S. companies globally competitive now and in the future by diversifying those pipelines with talent lying dormant in overlooked areas. Zekita will demonstrate how using an old method (apprenticeship) can be used to create new opportunities for young people who need to earn while they learn. Across Europe, apprenticeship programs have produced CEOs, CFOs and leaders at Director level and if taken more seriously in the U.S., these programs can achieve the same outcomes.
This presentation was created with the hopes that it will spark innovative thought and collaboration on best practices for connecting students with workforce training solutions. Those solutions coupled with stackable credentials and degree programs will help to supply companies with skilled employees and provide students with access to stepping stones of success.