August 17, 2017 Opportunity

America’s Leading Companies are Coming Together on Sept. 20 for the D.C. Opportunity Fair

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ – a coalition of more than 50 leading U.S. companies – will host a day-long job and resource fair for Opportunity Youth at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Sept. 20, hundreds of on-the-spot job offers are expected

More than 1,000 guaranteed interviews available with companies like Five Guys, HMSHost, Starbucks, FedEx, Hilton, Ulta Beauty, Walmart and more

The Initiative has helped more than 100,000 youth find jobs in communities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle and Dallas, with a goal to hire one million Opportunity Youth by 2021

Washington, D.C. (August 17, 2017) – An estimated 4.9 million young Americans ages 16-24 are not in school or employed, including nearly 10 percent of young adults in the Washington, D.C., area[1]. In response, a coalition of more than 50 top U.S. companies, called the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™, today announced plans to expand its national youth hiring effort to the nation’s capital. They will launch their work in Washington with a day-long job and resource fair on September 20 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, kicking off a long-term effort to connect local youth to jobs.

Hiring managers from more than 30 of the more than 50 participating companies, including Five Guys, HMSHost, FedEx, Nordstrom, Hilton, Starbucks, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty and Walmart will be at the D.C. Opportunity Fair. Together, they will offer more than 1,000 guaranteed job interviews, make hundreds of on-the-spot job offers, and offer dozens of resources like practice interviews, resume building, workplace styling tips for men and women, assistance creating a LinkedIn profile, connections to local mentorship programs, legal resources, immigration services and more.

“A job has the power to change a young person’s life forever,” said Marie Davis, executive director for the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. “Our hiring events provide real-life opportunities to thousands of young adults who receive job offers on the spot; however, it is so much more than receiving the offer. It is also about having the resources and support to show up at work and find the balance to grow personally and professionally. Our participating employers are excited to meet and hire terrific, motivated candidates for their businesses, as we work together with the civic and community leadership of the D.C. area to provide employment opportunities and career pathways to youth.”

"Being involved in the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative job fairs has been such an awesome experience,” said Jerry Murrell, Five Guys President and CEO. “We are even more excited to be a representative in our hometown! With over 50 locations in the metro area as well as our corporate office, we are excited to meet youth in our backyard and bring them into the Five Guys family."

“With our global headquarters and more than 100 of our hotels in the Washington, D.C., area, we are proud to be represented at the 100,000 Opportunities job fairs for the second year running,” said Matthew W. Schuyler, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hilton. “As a business of people serving people, we can’t succeed unless our employees prosper – so we invest a lot in making Hilton a great place to work. From flexible work schedules, to unmatched training and development opportunities, to generous benefits like paid time off to start a family, our first priority is ensuring that our team knows they are at the heart of who we are and what we do.”

“HMSHost remains committed to the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative and we are very excited that this hiring event is happening right here in our hometown region of Washington, D.C.,” said Laura E. FitzRandolph, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, HMSHost. “Nearly half of all management associates at HMSHost got their start with us as an hourly associate.  This event provides an outstanding opportunity for HMSHost to hire tomorrow’s leaders into our business today.”

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ aims to connect young people who face systemic barriers to employment and education to meaningful part-time and full-time job opportunities and pathways to success. Nationally, youth unemployment still tops 12 percent, disproportionately impacting young people from low-income communities. Building on learnings from the coalition’s similar hiring and resource fairs across the country, the D.C. Opportunity Fair will kick-start a long-term effort in partnership with many of the region’s leading businesses, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, as well as Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration and other civic leaders, to employ thousands of local youth.

"Through this partnership with the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, we will be able to equip more young Washingtonians with the skills they need to succeed in DC’s job market, help them find jobs in the community, and get them on pathways to the middle class," said Mayor Bowser. "Connecting our young people to good-paying jobs is critical to setting them up for success and expanding prosperity in DC, and we are proud to support an initiative that works with leaders in the community to open new doors for residents in all eight wards."

In Washington, D.C., the coalition will work alongside the region’s community and civic leaders including the Opportunity Youth Network, Raise DC, the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, the Latin American Youth Center, Goodwill of Greater Washington, Covenant House DC, My Brother’s Keeper DC, the DC ReEngagement Center, DCPS, Serve DC, Urban Alliance, and many more to build on existing opportunity youth hiring efforts and ensure the initiative is sustained in the long run. After the Opportunity Fair, ongoing training and hiring and support programs, funded by the Schultz Family Foundation, Starbucks and the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™, will continue in D.C. to help thousands of young people prepare for and secure employment.

"The D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) provides an array of world-class employment programs and services to District youth,” said Odie Donald II, Director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services. "We are excited to bring the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative to Washington, D.C. and look forward to giving young Washingtonians the chance to get jobs and obtain the skills they need to compete and succeed in DC's thriving economy."

 “The Greater Washington Community Foundation is thrilled to support the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative’s D.C. Opportunity Fair to expand access to job opportunities for the District’s youth,” said Bruce McNamer, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “Since 1998, The Community Foundation has partnered with Starbucks to support community-based solutions on issues ranging from youth violence to workforce development. We are proud to join this coalition of local employers, government, and civic leaders who share our commitment to addressing poverty and income inequality by helping youth find pathways to career success.”

"We are excited that the 100 Opportunities Initiative has come to Washington, D.C.,” said Thaddeus Ferber, Vice President of Policy, Forum for Youth Investment. “In addition to supporting local youth, it will give federal policy makers a chance to see firsthand the value of federal programs helping opportunity youth reconnect to school, work and service."

Building the Nation’s Largest Coalition Dedicated to Hiring Opportunity Youth

Launched in August 2015, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ is now the largest employer-led coalition focused on hiring opportunity youth. Through a unique alliance of private, public and philanthropic organizations, the Initiative is working to change hiring, retention and advancement strategies and create opportunities for employment, internships, and apprenticeships for young people facing systemic barriers to employment and education. In this way, the coalition is accelerating its national goal to hire one million opportunity youth by 2021, which it set after reaching its original goal of 100,000 hires two years ahead of schedule.

“After hiring more than 40,000 Opportunity Youth in the past two years, Starbucks has benefited from unlocking the talent and potential of these young people across America,” said John Kelly, senior vice president, Global Public Affairs and Social Impact, Starbucks. “These unique hiring events both celebrate what they have to offer and reward employers who understand the value to their enterprises of hiring the future American workforce.  For millions of young people, they are simply looking for a first or second chance to opt into the American Dream, and this event in D.C. will become that for hundreds of them.”

“Walmart and the Walmart Foundation work to improve the lives of millions of people through creating economic mobility and strengthening communities,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “We are working in partnership with others to address the fundamental challenges facing the retail and related industry workforces, and create opportunities through job training that will allow for clear career advancement.  That’s why we’re part of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, to prepare youth for successful and rewarding careers in retail, and why this job fair in Washington, D.C., is an important event.”

Youth Registration Now Open for the D.C. Opportunity Fair

Interested candidates are invited to register for free for the Sep. 20 hiring event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at: bit.ly/100kDCFair.


 About the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ has created the nation’s largest employer-led private sector coalition committed to creating pathways to employment for young people. Companies engaged in the coalition help launch careers for young people who are just entering the workforce, including full- and part-time work, as well as internships, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. Each company is also committed to developing potential in youth who have some work experience but are looking to gain new skills that lead to successful careers. Please visit www.100kOpportunities.org.

 [1] Promising Gains, Persistent Gaps (2017), Measure of America 

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