Across the U.S., leading employers are investing in mentoring, internship, school-to-work and hiring pathways for opportunity youth and seeing benefits within their organizations. Contact Grads of Life at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to join them.
The Opportunity Youth Network is a coalition of corporate, philanthropic, government, nonprofit and youth leaders work to reconnect America's 5.5 million disconnected youth. The Opportunity Youth Network will provide an annual report on the activities of the First Job Compact employers.
The MBK Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to creating pathways to success for boys and young men of color, will assist #FirstJob Compact employers in implementing 21st century hiring practices, and connect the private sector to workforce development organizations in cities across the country. In 2017, the MBK Alliance will also launch an online community to share best practices and resources.
Building on its Pathways to Pharmacy program, which has introduced more than 1 million underserved young people to the pharmacy profession through training, internships and apprenticeship since 2006, CVS Health will launch myCVS Journey. This will be a series of STEM-enriched programs designed to inspire young people to seek a diverse set of career paths in health care, including retail pharmacy, professional management, nursing, and information technology.
Grads of Life, a national initiative that catalyzes market demand for opportunity youth by transforming employer perceptions and business practices, will work with at least eight employers to support the implementation of their First Job commitments by providing consultative services and program design assistance. In addition, Grads of Life is releasing two tools to help all employers bring opportunity youth in to their talent pipeline--a business case framework that highlights the metrics companies should track to understand the economic value of their commitments to opportunity youth talent development and a partnership management tool that outlines the roles of the employer and the workforce training provider in successfully collaborating to develop opportunity youth talent pipelines.
New York Life Insurance is committing that Opportunity Youth will make up at least one third of all its interns over the next 3-5 years and it will convert an average of 50 percent of those Opportunity Youth to full-time employees. Interns will be paired with executive sponsors and will receive regular professional and life skills training.
Commitment to Action: Commitment to Opportunity Youth
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group, has a singular focus on youth and education, and is committed to building education and career pathways for youth in the communities it serves. By focusing on ways to expose youth to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers through targeted giving, mentorship and other programs, Alaska is engaging the leaders of tomorrow and developing talent for the aviation industry. In its home state of Washington, Alaska has given $2.5 million to fund the Alaska Airlines Aerospace Education Center at the Museum of Flight to inspire the next generation of aerospace leaders, $1.5 million to Port Jobs for career development for airport workers, and $236,000 to the Highline School District for grants to teachers who help students excel in technical training. In the state of Alaska, Alaska Airlines has made a 3-year, $1 million commitment to the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, an organization with the mission of providing native Alaskan students with the support they need to be successful in higher education and in science and engineering careers.
Commitment to Action: Travel with Purpose/Commitment to Opportunity Youth
Hilton Worldwide made a global commitment to impact at least one million young people by 2019 by helping them to reach their full potential and close the youth unemployment gap. This new initiative will open doors for young people in three ways:
1. Connecting them to the world of travel by enabling them to experience new cultures, contributing to the improvement of the sustainability of the industry and shaping their future with opportunities in Hilton Worldwide's expansive supply chain;
2. Preparing them for success in the world of work, travel and beyond by supporting their basic needs and developing their life and professional skills with mentorships, apprenticeships and Hilton Worldwide's innovative career awareness program, Careers@HiltonLive; and
3. Employing them across all divisions of the business across more than 4,000 owned, managed and franchised hotels worldwide.
In 2013, Hilton Worldwide issued an industry-wide call to action in collaboration with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) to help prevent a "lost generation" by building awareness and creating opportunities for young people in the hospitality industry. Changing perceptions of career opportunities in the travel and tourism industry is a key priority for Hilton Worldwide and the sector.
The commitment builds upon Travel with Purpose, Hilton Worldwide's global corporate responsibility strategy. Travel with Purpose focuses on creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening local communities where Team Members live, work and travel; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainably through the measurement, analysis and improvement of the use of natural resources.
Together with its strategic partners, Accenture will equip more than 3 million people with the skills to get a job or build a business by the end of fiscal 2020 through its Skills to Succeed initiative. Accenture’s Skills to Succeed initiative helps advance employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for individuals worldwide. As a part of this commitment, the company will increase its focus on the successful transition of individuals from skill-building programs to sustainable jobs and businesses, and bring together more organizations across sectors to create large scale, lasting solutions aimed at closing global unemployment gaps. Since fiscal 2011, Accenture has equipped more than 800,000 people with workplace and entrepreneurial skills.
In September 2014, long-term partners Hasbro and Year Up Providence launched a first of its kind workforce training program for local opportunity youth, ages 18-24, within Hasbro’s World Sales and Marketing headquarters in Rhode Island. Using Year Up’s one-year training model as the blueprint, the Transforming Talent program combines intensive job and life skills training, an earn-while-you-learn structure, multiple levels of support and corporate internships in Hasbro’s North American Sales and Marketing Division.
Designed to meet Hasbro’s long-term human resources needs in sales and marketing in Rhode Island, as well as to scale Year Up’s ability to serve more young adults in need of employment opportunities, the program deepens the connection between employers and diverse entry-level talent. Upon successful completion of the Transforming Talent program in July 2015, Hasbro is committed to providing participants full-time employment with Hasbro’s North American Sales and Marketing team.
According to Hasbro CEO, Brian Goldner: “Without the specific training, the expertise and incredibly talented professionals like the ones at Year Up, you can’t make matches between the jobs that are available and the employees that are trainable… what Year Up does is actually make the matches. … It’s very meaningful to these young people and to our company and other companies that are able to do this.”
A national pilot, Year Up hopes to replicate the partnership in other corporate partner locations from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.
Starbucks Coffee Company
Commitment to Action: Retail Excellence Training Program
In 2014, Starbucks Coffee Company and the Schultz Family Foundation launched the Retail Excellence Training Program with YouthBuild USA. The program gives young adults ages 16-24, who are neither in school nor employed, the opportunity to complete their high school education while learning valuable retail and customer service skills – based on the same training Starbucks baristas receive – through classroom learning, on-the-job paid training in a retail or cafe setting, and community service. Upon completion, the graduates receive college credits, wrap-around support, and assistance with their job search, interviews and placement. In 2014, 170 students will graduate from three YouthBuild USA sites – YouthCare in Seattle, Washington, Abyssinian Development Corporation in Harlem, New York, and Climb CDC in Gulfport, Mississippi. The program is now being expanded to additional sites in 2015, beginning with YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School.
Commitment to Action: Disproving the Negative Narrative
Through My Brother's Keeper, Discovery Communications will invest more than $1 million to create an original independent special programming event to educate the public about issues related to boys and men of color and address negative public perceptions of them.
- The program will show specific youth stories and the interventions that made a difference in their lives as an illustration of ways to impact the future of boys and men of color. This 1-hour program will air across Discovery networks and is scheduled to air in 2015.
- Discovery Education will also host a series of screenings and town halls in partnership with community based non-profits to discuss "My Brother’s Keeper" stories of intervention and ways that communities can get involved and help address this important issue facing our Nation.
Commitment to Action: Creating Entry-Level Job, Mentorship, and Apprenticeship Opportunities for Youth, and Preparing the Workforce of the Future.
Through Pathways to Progress, the Citi Foundation is focused on providing youth with the career readiness tools and opportunities needed to thrive in the 21st century economy. Pathways to Progress comprises programs across the globe that are helping youth build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job. In 2014, as part of its Pathways to Progress approach, the Citi Foundation made a three-year, $50 million commitment to boost the career readiness of 100,000 low-income youth, ages 16-24, in 10 cities across the United States. The effort is strengthened by the active involvement of Citi volunteers in these markets.
Commitment to Action: Increasing High School Graduation Rates, Improving Low Performing Schools, Actively Recruiting High Quality and Sustained Mentors, and Preparing the Workforce of the Future
Through My Brother's Keeper, AT&T announced an $18 million commitment this year to support mentoring and other education programs with a mentoring component as part of the company’s Aspire initiative - a $350 million commitment focused on high school success and workforce readiness for students at risk of dropping out of school.
- AT&T is launching the Aspire Mentoring Academy Corps, powered by AmeriCorps, AT&T and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to support AmeriCorps members in regions around the country and engage thousands of at-risk youth in mentoring activities.
- AT&T will expand the engagement of its employees through the Aspire Mentoring Academy with a goal to provide students who are at risk of dropping out of high school with 1 million hours of mentoring by the end of 2016.
- AT&T is using technology to scale its efforts through online mentoring, developing a mentoring app and piloting a program that mentors students through the CISCO IT certification process, thus developing critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills.
Commitment to Action: Reducing High School Dropout Rates, Improving the Worst Performing Schools and Actively Recruiting High Quality and Sustained Mentors
Through My Brother's Keeper, the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) announced a five-year commitment in partnership with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Team Turnaround and the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS).
- Through the partnership, these organizations will support a public service announcement campaign designed to recruit 25,000 new mentors, with a specific emphasis on recruiting men of color.
- The NBA and its teams will work with educators in at-risk schools across many of their franchise cities to provide incentive programs that increase attendance and improve overall school performance. Current and former NBA players will also participate in a series of grassroots, "lessons in leadership and teamwork" workshops in schools and after-school organizations that will inspire boys and young men of color to take charge of their lives, make good decisions, and be successful in their pursuit of education.
North America's Building Trades Union
Commitment to Action: Community Hub for Opportunities in Construction Employment
In 2014, North America's Building Trades Unions committed to implementing a structured, demand-driven, apprenticeship-readiness program in close cooperation with key local community-based partners to prepare 125 local young adults in the Capitol Region for the registered apprenticeship programs that lead to long term, sustainable careers in construction. The Building Trades' CHOICE apprenticeship-readiness program will be developed based on the best practices drawn from similar Building Trades programs in Milwaukee, New York City, Boston, New Orleans, and, most recently, in Detroit. The Building Trades community-based partners will assist in the recruitment, assessment, referral and mentoring of local residents in preparation for registered apprenticeship programs.
Barrick Gold Corporation
Commitment to Action: Improve Western Shoshone Educational Performance
In 2014, Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) commits to implement an intensive and multi-faceted approach to improve educational performance, access to higher education, and employment opportunities for members of the Western Shoshone communities located in northeastern Nevada. Barrick aims to improve high school graduation rates, improve college and vocational school entrance and completion rates, and increase employment rates. For 17-24 year olds, specifically, Barrick and its partners will launch training, mentoring, and hiring programs that will serve as pathways for future employment opportunities and create a career-ready pipeline of talent available to local employers.
Industry: Skin Care
Commitment to Action: FITE Entrepreneurs: Salon Industry Careers for Women
In 2014, Dermalogica committed, under the FITE initiative, to launch FITE Future Entrepreneurs in partnership with the International Dermal Institute in order to create a pathway to entrepreneurship for at-risk young women who inspire to work in the skin care industry. Through a scholarship application process, Dermalogica will identify and select up to ten young women in the New York area to go through a complete industry education and on the job training program over the next two years that includes undergraduate education, necessary materials and supplies, mentorship, secondary/graduate study, and apprenticeship/job placement.
Commitment to Action: Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3)
In 2014, Symantec Corporation committed to partner with Year Up, NPower, and LifeJourney to recruit a minimum of 45 under-served young adults (ages 18 to 29) in NYC, Baltimore, and San Jose to become educated and certified in cyber security information. Participating youth will receive an educational experience providing both hard and soft skills necessary for employment through the partner organizations. After the educational period ends, participants will apply for and interview for internships with partner organizations in each of three cities where the program will be piloted. Symantec will provide funds to support the physical classrooms, pay for the overhead and the trainers, software and hardware requirements, Symantec product, program, and internship stipends, other training materials, and provide Symantec volunteer employee trainers/mentors to assist the nonprofits in achieving these goals. The total initial funding target is up to $2,000,000 per annum.
Commitment to Action: Bridging the Gap: Connecting Opportunity Youth to Technology
In 2014, the Salesforce.com Foundation committed to scaling and expanding its youth mentoring and internship programs by expanding existing partnerships, initiating new partnerships, and educating other businesses on the benefits of youth engagement. The Salesforce.com Foundation will expand its partnership with Year Up and Genesys Works to provide job training to Opportunity Youth, and will scale and expand its mentoring and workforce development program BizAcademy.
Commitment to Action: Pathways to STEM Jobs via Internships and Job Shadowing
In 2014, Microsoft Corporation committed to deepen its partnerships with Year Up and Junior Achievement via its YouthSpark program by expanding internship, job shadowing, and infrastructure engagement, respectively. Partners will contribute to this commitment by implementing high-quality, locally relevant, and future-thinking career training programs. Year Up empowers low-income young adults to transition from poverty to professional careers in a single year. Junior Achievement works to turn kids of today into the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Each organization is uniquely positioned to support youth from communities across the U.S. to be successful in their future endeavors.
Industry: Professional & Business Services
Commitment to Action: Bridging the Opportunity Divide for Youth
In 2014, MDC Partners (MDC) committed to work in partnership with Year Up in the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic regions from 2014 to 2015 to provide 25 young people with paid, 6-month internships that will offer practical work experience and prepare them for the workforce. Year Up was chosen as lead partner for this initiative due to the organization's strong track record and proven results in recruiting, training and supporting young people as they transition into the work place. In addition, Year Up's training focus areas align with areas of skill shortage within the MDC network.
Marriott (Courtyard by Marriott)
Industry: Leisure & Hospitality
Commitment to Action: Courtyard's Playbook for Youth Success
In 2014, Courtyard by Marriott brand committed to partner with the National Academy Foundation (NAF) over the next three years to support American youth as they prepare to enter the workforce or seek higher education. Collectively, this commitment will result in at least 10,000 additional career development opportunities for NAF youth or their teachers over the next three years. Through its engagement, Courtyard by Marriott, along with their owners and franchisee business partners, will work together to strengthen employment pathways for young Americans.
Industry: Food Production
Commitment to Action: The Lifeway Empowerment Program
In 2014, Lifeway committed to recruit three opportunity youth for three to six month, full-time internship roles in the company's Chicago office. Lifeway will partner with local opportunity youth serving nonprofit organizations to identify and recruit youth for entry-level positions within the company that were specifically created to expand opportunities for this population.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Commitment to Action: JPMorgan Chase Summer Skills Development and Jobs Initiative
In 2014, JPMorgan Chase & Co. committed to supporting opportunity youth by partnering with foundations, the private sector and the mayors of 14 selected U.S. cities to invest in expanded work readiness and employment opportunities for teenagers and young adults through its JPMorgan Chase Summer Skills Development and Jobs Initiative. The primary goals of the partnership are to create 4,000 summer job opportunities for youth and to provide them with concrete work readiness skills and early work experience. An additional 20,000 youth will benefit from work readiness opportunities. Positions will be available in several sectors including: government, education, financial services, health, and energy. The mayor of each city will be the primary local partner, although implementation will be led by various public, private, and nonprofit organizations in selected cities, including local foundations, faith-based and community organizations, universities, and traditional training providers.
Commitment to Action: First Jobs for Opportunity Youth
In 2014, Gap Inc. committed to taking on four areas of activity to equip underserved youth with the skills they need to get on pathways to success: 1) expand This Way Ahead to an additional city; 2) enhance job training, mentoring, and in-kind support to non-profits that provide youth with workplace skills; 3) recruit 3-5 additional companies to join OYN; and 4) raise awareness among customers and the general public around the importance of first jobs, and the role that employers can play to support underserved youth.
Industry: Professional & Business Services
Commitment to Action: Cohort Mentoring for College Access and Persistence
In 2014, Ernst & Young (EY) committed to expand College MAP to four cities: Houston, TX; Louisville, KY; New Orleans, LA; and Rochester NY. In each city, EY will deploy a Partner/Principal to serve as the Executive Sponsor, two EY executives (managers/senior managers) to serve as the Program Directors, and a cohort of 15-20 EY professionals to serve as mentors to high school students. EY will also launch the College MAP Collegian Program, a persistence strategy designed to reengage and support alumni of the MAP's program, who are currently enrolled in college.
Commitment to Action: Elevating the Importance of Manufacturing Careers for Youth
In 2014, Corning committed to pilot a program that will consist of a series of workshops for youth, ages 15 to 21. The first workshop will involve a tour of a manufacturing facility, offering a first-hand view of what working in a factory is like and will include interaction with employees and management. Two subsequent workshops will focus on work and life skills needed to obtain these jobs, such as: having the basic math and English skills central to passing an entrance exam, the importance of attendance, proper dress and presentation in the workplace, and basic financial education on salary, taxes, banking and saving for life events and retirement.
"I am asking employers, educators, non-profits, community leaders to join me and the Grads of Life campaign in this bold agenda to grow our economy and to create new opportunities for tomorrow's leaders."