Merit America and OneTen Announce Partnership to Train and Hire Thousands of Black Workers for Remote Jobs in the Tech Industry
OneTen, a coalition of business leaders committed to hiring, promoting, and advancing one million Black individuals who do not have four-year degrees into family-sustaining careers over the next 10 years, announced a new partnership with national workforce development nonprofit Merit America to train and place several thousand workers without college degrees into new, mostly remote, upwardly mobile tech careers by 2024.
“The past two years have, in many ways, widened the gaps that were already preventing communities of color from accessing high-wage, family-sustaining careers,” said Maurice Jones, CEO of OneTen. “This partnership is about redoubling our efforts to accelerate opportunities for Black workers around the country, particularly in the fastest-growing sectors of the economy.”
As remote work becomes the norm for fields like sales, customer service, software development, and marketing, Black workers are among those least likely to access those job opportunities, which often offer higher wages and less risk from not only COVID-19, but also from broader labor market trends like automation and digitization. While many Black workers say they prefer to work from home, fewer than four in 10 Black workers reported to work remotely in the first half of 2021, compared to nearly half of white workers.
“Merit America pairs high-quality online learning with intensive and personalized coaching and support, resulting in transformative wage gains for working adults across the country. It’s our model’s secret sauce,” said Connor Diemand-Yauman, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Merit America. “By helping hardworking Americans access higher-earning careers, we’re helping OneTen’s community of employers make good on their commitment to building a more just and equitable world of work.”
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Founded in 2020, OneTen has brought together some of the country’s largest companies, including American Express, Cisco, IBM, and Walmart, to close the persistent racial wealth and opportunity gaps for Black talent in the United States. The coalition works to address disparities by connecting member companies with talent developers and community organizations that support and lead the development of Black talent without four-year degrees.
Participants in Merit America’s IT Support and Data Analytics programs earn industry-recognized credentials from Google over a 14-week period. Merit America’s comprehensive support structure provides all participants with a dedicated professional coach throughout the program. Graduates of the program enter directly into tech careers that put them on a pathway to career growth and financial sustainability.
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