Corporate officials from some of the world’s most influential business firms, like JPMorgan Chase, Ernst & Young, IBM, McKinsey & Company and Accenture, pledged to hire 100,000 low-income residents and people of color by 2030 as the Black Lives Matter movement shines a light on persistent racial inequalities that stem from high barriers to entry into lucrative careers for Americans of color.
Axios reports that leaders from massive consulting, accounting, technology and banking firms have come together to form the New York Jobs CEO Council. Its mission is to hire underprivileged New Yorkers who have been further marginalized or displaced as the city’s economy grew without them. A particular focus will be on tech jobs.
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Leaders from these companies aim to hire 100,000 New Yorkers of color and low-income backgrounds in a move to address unemployment as well as wealth gaps between races. This six-figure hiring goal includes 25,000 jobs and apprenticeships for students within the City University of New York (CUNY) system, which serves many students of color.
Among leadership supporting the initiative is Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google; Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon; David Solomon of Goldman Sachs; Staya Nadella of Microsoft; and Julie Sweet, the CEO of Accenture.
The group will be overseen by Gail Mellow, the former president of LaGuardia Community College, a school within the CUNY system.
These industry leaders are “coming together to try to tackle one of society’s big problems, which is getting inner city school [children], largely minority, getting these kids through school and with a high-paying job,” Dimon said Tuesday in an interview with the Today Show, per CNBC.
While New York is steadily recovering from the nation’s first massive outbreak of the coronavirus, the pandemic has underscored systemic racist discrepancies in health care and employment opportunities.
A component of the effort will be to relax credentials needed for some entry-level positions where a four-year college degree is not necessary. This change will expand the applicant pool.
“Over time, the qualification [sic] for these jobs have gotten a lot more difficult versus what is actually needed for these jobs,” CEO Carmine Di Sibio of Ernst & Young told Axios.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Black people or African Americans are 4.7 times more likely to be hospitalized with a severe COVID-19 infection, and 2.1 times more likely to die from an infection compared to white Americans. Similar figures were reported for other minorities, like Asian Americans and Latinx Americans.
Part of this is due to the fact that Americans of color are less likely to have jobs that allow them to work remotely, placing them on the frontlines of the pandemic where they are more likely to be exposed to the virus.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) made a comment in support of the new group.
“The new initiative will play an important role connecting underserved communities with career resources and access to New York’s world-class educational institutions,” CNBC quotes.
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