YK Communications (YKC; Ganado, Texas) recently launched an exciting “Tech Squad” program that draws on talent from a local high school to provide free tech support to their community. The program also gives the teens exposure to the telco’s cutting-edge technologies.
While the tech squad members are assisting community members, they also develop and improve professional skills. These tech-savvy students assist customers with a range demands thanks to help and guidance from YKC’s employees. One local resident, Burene Spalek, said she was born in the wrong generation for developing any sort of technological prowess, and insisted that many others like her could use assistance.
Another community member, Sharon Bonnot, who runs a local dental practice with her husband, wanted to explore different possibilities for staying in touch with patients, so she learned about different iPhone features that could be helpful in this regard. Despite a busy schedule, Sharon expects to attend additional sessions, and she acknowledges how valuable the experience is for the tech squad members.
The tech squad members seem more than willing to try to meet these customers’ demands. Alex Campuzana saw the program as a great opportunity to pair her love of technology with her desire to help community members. In doing so, she has assisted folks by showing them how to use social media and access computer programs from their phones. However, she also got to explore the innerworkings of YKC’s network. It has been an experience that has her hoping for more chances to engage community members and further practice her information technology customer service skills.
YKC’s General Manager Russell Kacer recognized that this program also creates an opportunity for the company to pick the students’ brains about “the apps, programs, websites, etc. that they are using,” and that it provides insight on things like “what they are looking for when they are shopping for internet service, which allows for us to learn the behaviors of our next generation of customer.” The value of tapping into that perspective is something that the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) is trying to make accessible to telcos everywhere through the FRS Rural Youth Survey (which will be launched during a webcast on October 12 and will feature an interview with students from the FRS Youth Tour).
YKC’s youth engagement program warrants recognition as a powerful tool for assisting community members and cultivating the next generation of tech talent. Those looking to assess current and future customer demands and tech usage trends should register for the upcoming webcast focused on results from this year’s Rural Youth Survey.
For more information on this program, visit http://www.ykc.com/tech-squad/