WASHINGTON — May 26, 2022 — 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, today 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.”

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.

About Merit America
Merit America is a national nonprofit preparing workers stuck in low-wage roles for family-sustaining careers at scale. Hailed by the New York Times as “the hybrid future of training programs for the disadvantaged,” Merit America offers fast and flexible education and job placement programs that work for people who work, and are aligned to the most in-demand roles in the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy. Founded in 2018, Merit America now serves thousands of working learners across the country with an average annual wage gain of nearly $19,000–on track to drive $1B in wage gains by 2024.

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 non-profits 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. Join us at OneTen.org, where one can be the difference.

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