BOSTON — March 18, 2022 — Today, Grads of Life, a national initiative dedicated to closing the gap between people historically excluded from the workforce and employers hiring talent, announced it will expand its partnership with OneTen, a coalition of CEOs and companies committed to placing 1 million Black Americans without four-year college degrees into family-sustaining jobs over the next 10 years. Grads of Life helped design and launch the coalition and as part of this continued partnership will now work alongside OneTen to create pathways for Black talent and their ongoing advancement, with a focus on employer engagement.

Racial bias and systemic barriers have long prevented Black Americans from having meaningful access to family-sustaining jobs with career mobility. Grads of Life is honored to partner with OneTen to advance our shared goals of harnessing the power of leading chief executives and their companies to dismantle these barriers through the implementation of more equitable recruitment, retention and advancement practices.

“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 will bring its subject matter expertise in 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. “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.”

In partnership, Grads of Life will help bring OneTen’s mission to life through a skill-first approach aimed at using employment to advance equity.

About Grads of Life

Grads of Life empowers companies to drive equity through employment. Grads of Life partners with companies to create and implement diversity, equity and inclusion strategies that deliver social impact and business benefits. Through a research-driven approach, Grads of Life helps companies understand their current positioning and create customized engagements to help them achieve their goals. With deep issue area expertise, Grads of Life acts not only as a consultancy for its clients but also as a thought partner and support system, providing the research, tools, and networks they need to create systems-level change. Born out of an initiative of Year Up, Grads of Life has a long history of helping companies address their talent needs while advancing racial and economic justice and are proud to continue to help build the employer movement to close the Opportunity Divide.

About OneTen

OneTen is a coalition of leading chief executives and their companies who are coming together to upskill, hire and promote one million Black individuals who do not yet have a four-year degree into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement over the next 10 years. OneTen connects employers with talent developers including leading nonprofits and other skill-credentialing organizations who support development of diverse talent. By creating more equitable and inclusive workforces, we believe we can reach our full potential as a nation of united citizens. OneTen recognizes the unique potential in everyone — every individual, every business, every community — to change the arc of America’s story with Black talent.