The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is a coalition of leading U.S. companies dedicated to training and hiring 100,000 youths (ages 16-24) by 2018.
The initiative is being led by the Schultz Family Foundation with the goal of creating pathways for American youth and providing them with the opportunity to develop skills and gain credentials through apprenticeships, internships, and employment. They are currently in the middle of a 5-city Job Fair and Forum which consists of workshops, on the spot mentoring, counseling, and skills development for youth in cities with some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
Touch Worldwide has done an incredible job of marketing the initiative’s Job Fair and Forum at the first two locations of the event. Using Expand Infinita Booths and Expand GrandFabrics, they have been effectively marketing participating funders of the event, including Starbucks, Macy’s, Pizza Hut and Microsoft. The initiative is also supported by Walmart, Walgreens, CVS Health, JCPenney, Nordstrom, Dominos, Taco Bell, Target, FedEx, Hyatt, T-Mobile and several other top U.S. companies.
The event kicked off with a bang in Chicago on August 13th, with surprise appearances by several celebrity performers. It was hosted by performing artist/actor Common, who welcomed several other special guests to share their own inspirational stories, including Usher and will.i.am, who also gave performances at the event. Several of the initiative’s leaders spoke, including Starbucks CEO and Schultz Family Foundation founder, Howard Schultz. Hiring managers from more than 30 companies met with candidates and approximately 600 job offers were made at the event.
The second event was held on October 30th in Phoenix, the city with the highest youth unemployment rate of any big metropolitan area in the United States. Over 25 companies came to Phoenix to create pathways for opportunity at the event, including four more companies that joined after the Chicago event: Papa John’s, Republic Services, TOMS, and VILLA. The event was well attended by 1,700 youths, who were provided with access to career resources, resume development workshops and direct mentoring and coaching. Arizona State University was a major collaborator in the Phoenix event, and held five separate resume building and job interviewing workshops.
Our own Paul Filart, Pacific Northwest Account Executive of Expand International, attended the event to help set up and make sure that everything was put together. He was very impressed by the event and commented on how informative and comprehensive the workshops were. “The biggest thing that stood out to me were the different stations starting from building a resume, to learning how to dress for interviews, and rehearsing for the interview”, he said. “Each station was staffed with volunteer experts giving guidance to the kids in each stage of the job interview process. To be a part of such a great cause made me proud that we could be involved.”
The event was a huge success, and resulted in more than 500 job offers.
The most recent event was held in Los Angeles, CA and was well attended by over 6,000 youths. The 32 companies who exhibited at the event extended over 1,000 job offers. Touch Worldwide will continue to market major funders of the event at the upcoming Seattle and New York locations. Starbucks, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Nordstrom, and Target are just a few of the employers who will be interviewing job seekers on site. City leaders are hoping to attract 5,000 youths to each of the locations and companies are expected to make hundreds of job offers on the spot.