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The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative Looks Ahead to Washington, DC

700 On-the-Spot Jobs Are Offered at the Dallas Opportunity Fair on May 19, building on progress from similar efforts in Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and SeattleWith more than 100,000 hires to date, the nation’s largest #corporate coalition dedicated to hiring 16-24 year-olds facing barriers to employment will head to Washington, D.C. this fall

DALLAS and WASHINGTON, DC (May 24, 2016) – The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™, the nation’s largest employer-led coalition committed to creating pathways to employment for young people, today announced that participating companies offered 700 jobs to Opportunity Youth – 16-24-year-olds who are not in school nor employed –in a single day at the Dallas Opportunity Fair on May 19. The event marked a key milestone in a national effort that first launched in 2015 and has since already connected more than 100,000 young people to jobs two years ahead of schedule. Since 2015, through partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders in Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle and most recently Dallas, the coalition has expanded its work, including a new goal to hire 1 million opportunity youth by 2020. Today, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative also announced plans to expand to the nation’s capital with its next Opportunity Fair scheduled for this fall in Washington, D.C. Working with local community and civic leaders, the event is expected to connect thousands of DC-area youth to employment pathways with companies like #starbucks, FedEx, Five Guys, HMS Host, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty, and more.

Bridging the Opportunity Divide in Dallas, and Beyond

In Dallas, an estimated 109,000 young people ages 16-24 are not in school or employed – making up roughly 13% of youth in the area. The Dallas Opportunity Fair, on May 19, brought together more than 600 hiring managers and volunteers from more than 30 companies. The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ members that participated in the event included #starbucks, FedEx, JCPenney, Macy’s, Pizza Hut, Ulta Beauty, Walmart, and more, as well as local companies. These companies connected with nearly 2,000 Opportunity Youth from the Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area with the goal to connect them to jobs, apprenticeships, internships and educational opportunities. In the end, companies offered approximately 700 jobs, creating immediate impact for the young men and women in attendance. More than 60% of interviews, resulted in an offer on the spot.

The Opportunity Fairs are just one part of the overall approach. The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is committed to creating lasting change in Dallas to make it easier for young adults to find and retain good jobs in which they can thrive. With funding from the Schultz Family Foundation and #starbucks, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas will be responsible for building on the Opportunity Fair’s success as it leads the ongoing work of 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ in the Dallas region. Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas will help to ensure that young people are prepared to enter the workforce and that Dallas-area employers continue to strengthen their commitment to hiring Opportunity Youth; they will also host an ongoing series of smaller events to support thousands of young adults looking for work. 

The coalition, together with the City of Dallas, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, CitySquare, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and 30 other organizations, took some practical first steps at the Opportunity Fair to help young people prepare for work. Some examples of resources offered to young people included: 

  • More than 500 young adults connected with workforce development & training programs
  • 450+ volunteers and staff from coalition companies and community groups to help support young people during the day and to staff company booths and experiences  
  • 200+ received access to healthcare services
  • 200+ youth built their confidence in artfully orchestrated practice interviews
  • 100 youth explored high school re-engagement options and over 100 literacy books were given to attendees
  • Nearly 50 youth took a food handling class, passed the food handler permit test, and got their permit – for free thanks to the generous support of the Schultz Family Foundation.
  • Nearly 50 youth learned more about banking and financial resources
  • Hundreds of youth worked on their resumes and completed job applications under the support of countless resume coaches and application expert volunteers
Building a Coalition of Support for Opportunity Youth Hiring in Washington, D.C.

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ is working with community-based organizations and civic leaders across America to ensure this initiative expands to other cities and continues to host on-going hiring fairs long after the initial event. Following the close of the Opportunity Fair in Dallas last week, the Coalition plans to expand its work to the Washington, D.C. metro area this fall.

In Washington, D.C., the coalition will work closely with the Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser and other civic leaders across the region as it begins identifying a network of community based organizations working to connect opportunity youth to jobs and pathways to success. In the D.C. area, where an estimated 70,000, 10 percent, youth are disconnected from work and school, the coalition will aim to apply best practices from its work in other cities where it has already hired more than 100,000 young people. The D.C. Metro area will focus on recruiting and hiring youth from the most underserved communities in the Metro area.

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