Moving Business Forward

Doing good is also good for business

Working with opportunity youth isn’t just about doing the right thing. It’s about getting results that serve your community and your bottom line. Employment pathways give you the power to build your own pipeline of more skilled and diverse workers with the drive to succeed.

"It’s a win for the urban communities, it’s a win for the students, and a win for our company. We would not be doing this unless these students were active contributors as employees. They more than pull their weight."

- Kenneth Chenault, CEO and Chairman, American Express

Companies that invest in employment pathways and opportunity youth see real returns on their investments - from reduced turnover to higher employee engagement. Here are the benefits in action.

Cost-Effective Talent Acquisition

Investing in employment pathways for opportunity youth allows employers to make smarter hiring decisions. Employers enjoy cost-effective ways to shape, train and test-drive talent, which ultimately results in hiring the best candidate for the job.
Richard Curtis. Speech. Close It Summit 2013. Washington, D.C. November 5-7, 2013.
65% of Year Up interns in the finance department at State Street are offered part-time or full-time employment and the rest decide to continue their education.
“We find the employees that are the most motivated and who want to move up the career pathway and we remove the barriers and allow them to realize their dream. It is a great way to invest money that we are already spending.”

- Michael J. Paruta, Director of Workforce Development, Human Resources, Care New England Health System

Some employers who use skills-based hiring experience a 70% reduction in cost-to-hire
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Increased Retention

By pre-training opportunity youth with skills that are required for workplace success, such as reliability, problem solving, critical thinking, conscientiousness, listening and observation, and effective communication, you can create work-ready employees who are better at doing their jobs from day one. These employees tend to be happier and stick around longer.
Corporate Voices for Working Families. CVS Caremark Case Study. 2012.
30% retention rate at CVS Caremark
“[We get a talent pool that] stays with us. They grow with us, and we can turn those guys into managers in our company.”

- Steve Weinstein, ICTO of technology at JPMorgan Chase

10% higher retention rate at Pacific Gas & Electric and 98% retention rate among graduates of the PowerPathway™ initiative
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Higher Productivity

Ultimately, a stable and well-trained pipeline of pre-trained workers results in a financial return on investment. Better-trained employees make for more productive employees.
Corporate Voices for Working Families. Pacific Gas & Electric Case Study. 2011. This statistic relates to the comprehensive PowerPathway™ Program, which includes training for talent other than opportunity youth.
3 to 1 ROI gained by Pacific Gas and Electric due to accelerated time-to-productivity
“To succeed in today’s workplace, young people need more than basic reading and math skills. They need substantial content knowledge and information technology skills, advanced thinking skills, flexibility to adapt to change, and interpersonal skills to succeed in multicultural, cross-functional teams.”

- J. Willard Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

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A Diverse Workforce That Reflects Your Customer Base

Diversity of experience, background and thought among employees enhances creativity, strengthens problem solving and enables better decision making.
60% diversity rate in applicant pool (on average) for PG&E’s PowerPathway™ program
“In this environment, having a broad range of ideas and viewpoints through a diverse workforce increases our chances of success with our customers, clients, patients and communities.”

- David L. Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Diversity Officer, CVS Caremark

Forbes Insights. Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce.
More than 75% of Forbes-surveyed senior executives believe diversity is a key driver of innovation
Studies show that companies with greater racial and gender diversity performed better in terms of sales, revenue, number of customers and market share
Companies with a strong commitment to diversity on average outperform their peers with higher profit margins and greater return on equity and assets
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Enhanced Employee Engagement

By offering existing employees volunteer opportunities such as mentoring opportunity youth, businesses create meaningful leadership experiences for their employees, which lead to greater overall employee satisfaction.
Gap Inc. This Way Ahead. Case Study. 2014.
100% of employee volunteers said that their experience with This Way Ahead made them “extremely proud” to be Gap Inc. employees
“[Opportunity youth] want to pursue excellence. They want to bring it to the company that’s hired them. That’s more than half the battle in talent acquisition.”

- Bill Wray, COO at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island

Corporate Voices for Working Families. Fidelity Investments Case Study. 2012.
100% of Fidelity employee volunteers connect their efforts to Fidelity’s positive impact on community
White House Council for Community Solutions. A Toolkit for Employers: Connecting Youth & Business. 2012.
47% of executives cite employee satisfaction as a major contributor to long-term shareholder return
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Higher Consumer Confidence For a More Robust Economy

Growing a sustainable pipeline of skilled talent has a cascading effect on economic growth. By employing more Americans who will contribute to the economy, employers build the human capital needed to drive business success and create future customers.
Pacific Gas & Electric Video. Produced through the generous support of the New Options Project. 2013.
70% of graduates of the PowerPathway™ program are hired in the energy and utilities industry, not just at PG&E
Belfield, Clive et al. The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth. February 2012.
The estimated lifetime earnings of opportunity youth versus regular high school graduates is $375K vs $712K
The lifetime economic burden on taxpayers of opportunity youth is $1.6 trillion (for 2011 alone)
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Stronger Community Impact

Community-minded business practices such as hiring, training and mentoring programs for opportunity youth contribute to stronger communities and create a more positive brand image for your business. Investors consider social performance an indicator of a company’s strong management skills and its ability to plan for long-term, strategic growth.
Southwire’s “12 for Life” program has contributed to an increase - from 55%-75% - in the graduation rates of at-risk students
“In today’s reputation economy, what you stand for matters more than what you produce and sell. People’s willingness to buy, recommend, work for and invest in a company is driven 60 percent by their perceptions of the company and only 40 percent by their perceptions of their products.”

- Kasper Ulf Nielsen, executive partner of Reputation Institute, which conducts the world’s largest study of corporate reputation

Cone LLC. 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study. 2010.
85% of consumers say they have a more positive image of a company when it supports a cause they care about
According to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer Report, engagement-oriented behaviors such as treating employees well and ethical business practices are vital to building future consumer trust
“It takes many years of training to operate our gas and electric facilities. PowerPathway™ allows us to partner with schools and communities to ensure we have a qualified pool of candidates.”

- Chris Johns, President of Pacific Gas and Electric Company

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ROI & Cost-Benefit Analysis

Understanding the value of your company's investment in opportunity youth is as important as it would be for any other business initiative.
ROI & Cost-Benefit Analysis PDF

Gain Company Buy-In Guide

Show leaders that building an employment pathway is good for business - a win for your bottom line, your employees, your community and the opportunity youth being served.
Gain Company Buy-In Guide PDF

Interested in learning more about ROI?

Check out our tools & resources section