Historically, Black people have faced significant systemic barriers in the workforce, and despite an improved labor market, they still can’t obtain well-paying, stable jobs with quality benefits at the same rate as other groups. 

In response, Grads of Life, a national initiative dedicated to closing the gap between people historically excluded from the workforce and employers hiring talent, recently announced  it will expand its partnership with OneTen, a coalition of CEOs and companies committed to placing one million Black Americans without four-year college degrees into family-sustaining jobs over the next 10 years. 

“We know that structural barriers call for structural solutions — and OneTen has responded overwhelmingly to this call,” said Elyse Rosenblum, CEO of Grads of Life. “It has been Grads of Life’s privilege to support OneTen and its more than 60 member companies and 250 executives. OneTen’s efforts have already led to more than 20,000 hires and increased access to economic opportunity and mobility for Black talent nationwide. We are excited to double down on this partnership in 2022, engaging employers in new markets and advancing the talent practices necessary for Black Americans to thrive.” 

Grads of Life plans to launch programs around skills-based hiring, work-based learning, and company training to the coalition’s C-suite convenings and working groups to support OneTen employers in improving their DEI outcomes and achieving their OneTen commitments. 

“Grads of Life has been an instrumental partner in helping to launch OneTen and close the opportunity gap for Black talent in corporate America,” said Maurice Jones, CEO of OneTen said in a news release.  “Together, we’ve achieved an incredible feat of providing some of the largest employers in the country with new strategies to hire, promote, and upskill promising talent who are often overlooked because they don’t have a four-year degree. We’re excited to continue advancing this work to help achieve full racial equity and economic mobility for Black Americans.”