Amplify Blog

Insights and ideas directly from New Profit

September 23, 2014

grads of life

The "Grads of Life" campaign was launched earlier today at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative! The campaign seeks to address the opportunity divide in the United States by encouraging employers to think outside the box for potential employees. New Profit is proud to support this important effort.

There are more than 4 million open positions within the United States, and businesses are in need of qualified workers to fill these critical positions. At the same time, despite this need, businesses often overlook a talent pool of 6 million young adults, also known as opportunity youth, who are qualified for internships, mentorships, and entry-level positions, but lack traditional educational credentials and/or steady work experience.

Although many employers are open to the concept of alternative hiring practices, the current candidate screening process is largely built around points of elimination and a series of assumptions. This causes many of the country’s young people to encounter barriers gaining employment without a college education.

The "Grads of Life" campaign raises awareness of a solution to the growing problem, with the goal of changing perceptions of opportunity youth and evolving social norms so that various pathways to employment – which include mentoring, school-to-work partnerships, internships, and other hiring opportunities – are widely recognized and integrated as one of several talent strategies used by competitive, best-practice employers.

The "Grads of Life" campaign was created by a collaboration of nonprofit partners including Year Up, the Employment Pathways Project, New Options Project, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Opportunity Nation, Public Private Possibilities, and ConPRmetidos. These organizations, in collaboration with an extensive network of partners nationwide, are well-equipped to shift perceptions of opportunity youth and arm employers with the information, tools, and connections needed to learn more and develop pathways to employment for young people.

"We are witnessing innovative social enterprises such as Year Up, one of our portfolio organizations, create employment pipelines for opportunity youth. In addition to the great programs supplying these youth into the workforce, we are also seeing increased demand from employers wanting to tap this new pipeline of motivated talent. New Profit is thrilled to support the 'Grads of Life' campaign which will catalyze and encourage these market-driven solutions."

    - Addie Chamberlain, New Profit's Strategic Partnerships Manager

To learn more about the "Grads of Life" campaign, click here.


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