SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With 5.5 million young Americans out of school and work, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of 40 top U.S. companies, today announced plans to expand its national youth hiring movement to Seattle, beginning with an unprecedented job fair on May 5 at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field Event Center.
Hiring managers from Alaska Airlines, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Delaware North, Dominos, Evolution Fresh, FedEx, Hilton, HMSHost, Hyatt, JCPenney, Leisure Care, Lyft, Macy’s, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Panda Express, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Red Robin, Republic Services, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Target, Teavana, T-Mobile, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens, and Walmart will be at the Seattle Opportunity Fair. Together, they will interview hundreds of youth in an effort to connect many of King County’s estimated 50,5931 Opportunity Youth – 16-24 year olds who are disconnected from employment and education – to meaningful job opportunities and a pathway to success. The event will also kick start a long-term effort in partnership with many of the region’s leading businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and civic leaders to employ thousands of local youth, accelerating the coalition’s national goal to hire at least 100,000 opportunity youth by 2018.
“We’re thrilled to partner with so many respected brands and give young people the opportunity to thrive and grow in today’s economy,” said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines. “Building work-related skills and gaining solid work experience will prepare today’s youth for the future and strengthen our community.”
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative’s work in Seattle will build on success from similar hiring efforts it recently launched in Chicago, Phoenix and Los Angeles. To date, more than 25,000 youth have found jobs, internships or higher education opportunities through the participating companies, of which 2,300 received on-the spot offers at the three hiring fairs. The coalition will look to host more than 1,500 youth at the Seattle Opportunity Fair on May 5. Participating companies expect to make hundreds of immediate job offers as they did in Chicago, Phoenix and Los Angeles.
“The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has provided Nordstrom with a unique forum to connect and establish relationships with our next generation of employees, customers and community leaders,” said Jamie Nordstrom, President of Stores, Nordstrom. “At the first three events we were fortunate to meet, and even hire on the spot, some fantastic young people and introduce them to Nordstrom as a great place to start a career. We’re looking forward to another inspiring event here in our hometown of Seattle.”
“A great first job can truly open up a pathway to lifelong opportunity for a young person,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo of Starbucks. “Starbucks is proud to partner with the community in Seattle to connect Opportunity Youth with a pathway to their first job. We believe companies across the county have a role and responsibility to create opportunities for young people across the economic spectrum. We are eager to do our part in providing on the spot jobs offers in our hometown of Seattle.”
In Seattle, and around the country, youth unemployment still tops 12 percent2, disproportionately impacting young people of color and those from low-income communities. The coalition will work alongside Seattle’s community and civic leaders including the City of Seattle, King County, Educurious, Community Center for Education Results & the Roadmap Project, the United Way of King County, and other key partners to build on existing opportunity youth hiring efforts and ensure the initiative is sustained in the long run.
“The City of Seattle is proud to be a partner in this employer-led effort to help all our young people develop the skills they need to thrive in a 21st Century workforce,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, in collaboration with my Youth Employment Initiative, is an investment in the future of our young people and in creating more equitable access to opportunity. It is a critical step toward ensuring all of our young people share in the prosperity of our innovation economy.”
"Educurious is thrilled to be making connections between employers and today’s youth as part of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative," said Michael Golden, Chief Executive Officer of Educurious. "Helping young people gain work experience stimulates short-term impact and builds toward their future success by providing them with readiness, agency for their life, inspiration for relevant career pathways and a network to support them along the way."
"Through this important initiative in Seattle and King County, we plan to build integrated employment and education pathways that reconnect young people to opportunity and develop a long-term model for engagement and retention,” said Nicole Yohalem, Director of the Road Map Project’s Opportunity Youth Initiative for the Community Center for Education Results.
Registration Now Open for Seattle Opportunity Hiring Fair
Interested candidates are invited to register for free and pre-schedule their interviews for the May 5 hiring event at www.100kOpportunities.org/Seattle. Lyft, a member of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, will provide free rides up to $50 for candidates who are new Lyft passengers to help them easily access transportation to and from the event. Youth will also have access to more than 30 vital employment, educational and social services, including one-on-one resume and interview coaching; access to high school and equivalency through admissions to programs at the University of Washington; opportunities for civic engagement like voter registration and national service; the chance to build an online profile with LinkedIn’s experts; and more.
“We believe in creating a broad range of new opportunities for young people who have many interests and backgrounds, while at the same time creating a pipeline for technology talent that sparks innovation,” said Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President and Head of Microsoft Philanthropies. “We look forward to connecting job fair attendees with career opportunities at our retail stores, as well as on-site mentoring to further their education and enter careers in high-tech fields.”
America’s Largest Employer-Led Coalition for Opportunity Youth Welcomes Accenture, Leisure Care, Panda Express, Services Group of America, and Ulta Beauty as Newest Members
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative today also announced Accenture, Leisure Care, Panda Express, Services Group of America, and Ulta Beauty as its newest corporate partners. Since launching in July 2015, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has grown to 40 leading U.S. companies including Accenture, Alaska Airlines, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cintas, CVS Health, Delaware North, Dominos, FedEx, Hilton Worldwide, HMSHost, Hyatt, JCPenney, JPMorgan Chase, Leisure Care, Lyft, Macy’s, Mars, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Panda Express, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Porch.com, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Prudential Financial, Red Robin, Republic Services, Services Group of America, Sprinkles, Starbucks, Sweetgreen, Taco Bell, Target, Teavana, T-Mobile, TOMS, Ulta Beauty, VILLA, Walgreens and Walmart.
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is generously supported by the Alaska Airlines, Arizona Community Foundation, California Endowment, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Dominos, FedEx, Hilton, HMS Host, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Macy’s, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Papa John’s, The Prudential Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Starbucks, Starbucks Foundation, Taco Bell, Target, T-Mobile, Walmart Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In-kind support for the event in Seattle is being provided by Delaware North and Lyft.
“Our community can make a difference in the lives of opportunity youth. With more than 50,000 Opportunity Youth in the Seattle area, we have a responsibility to offer creative new solutions to help young people find opportunity,” said Sheri Schultz, co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation. “Our strategic collaboration includes the private sector, local governments, community-based organizations, and foundations— all working together to create a better system of opportunity for young people who are facing barriers to that first job or first introduction to community engagement. The Schultz Family Foundation is excited to be part of this important work.”
The Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions acts as an intermediary for the coalition in the hiring cities, building upon the existing work of its national Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF). The OYIF currently supports collaborative efforts focused on Opportunity Youth in 21 communities around the country. The Aspen Institute provides direct leadership, technical assistance, and programmatic support to the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative in Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle and future cities.
About the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has the goal of creating the nation’s largest employer-led private sector coalition committed to creating pathways to employment for young people. Companies engaged in the coalition will help to launch careers for young people that are just entering the workforce, including internships, apprenticeships and on the job training, in addition to developing potential in youth that have some work experience but are looking to gain new skills that lead to a successful career.
For more information, including a complete list of participating companies, community service organizations, funders and participants, please visit www.100kOpportunities.org.
Media interested in attending the event in Seattle must pre-register for credentials by contacting media@100kOpportunities.org.
1 “Zeroing In on Place and Race,” Measures of America, June 10, 2016 (http://www.measureofamerica.org/youth-disconnection-2015/)
2 “Zeroing In on Place and Race,” Measures of America, June 10, 2016 (http://www.measureofamerica.org/youth-disconnection-2015/)