Do you remember the first person who put you on? By “put you on,” I mean the person who stuck their neck out to say how amazing you are and how they knew you could add value to that role you were applying for. During the Great Recession of 2009 that summer, I had someone who put me on by arranging an interview that would lead me to my first job after I graduated from college. What made this referral work was the fact I had a set of in-demand skills required for the job and I was ready to work. Connecting talent with in-demand skills to employers who are committed to build a just and competitive economy is at the core of our Fair Chance hiring initiative.

As a talent accelerator working at the intersection of community-based impact and corporate transformation, our Inclusive Talent Solutions (ITS) model equips young talent with the tools necessary to compete for high-quality jobs and actively addresses the problems of systemic racism and all other obstacles that impede the path toward achieving a wholly inclusive economy. Grounded in our ITS model, we’ve partnered with USC’s Price Center for Social Innovation to design innovations that support employers in building a just economy. 

It’s our project team's goal to connect to employers who are ready to put on justice-involved talent equipped to add value to their companies. Through a series of design thinking workshops with employers, we have developed innovations to pilot with employers aimed at accelerating hiring opportunities for justice-involved young adults. 

At the core, Fair Chance hiring is about hiring talent with in-demand skills. Our work at LeadersUp is now aimed to combat the inequality and systemic racism that threatens our nation’s ability to achieve an efficient and competitive economy. Our Inclusive Talent Solutions are designed to effectively leverage the comparative advantages of inclusive growth. Amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the goal of our partnership with the Price Center for Social Innovation was to test innovations that accelerate justice-involved youth to employment opportunities. 

LeadersUp’s re-committment to antiracist values uniquely positions our Fair Chance project to combat the cycles of intergenerational disadvantage, and discrimination. Our joint work with the Price Center puts research in practice and reaffirms that strong and sustained economic growth into the future depends upon building an inclusive economy wherein the persistent problems of unemployment and underemployment among Black and Latinx young adults is eliminated through a deliberate and focused strategy.

In practice, LeadersUp partners with employers through our EVOLVE Network and collaborates with leaders on an ITS strategy that fulfills each company’s unique hiring needs while identifying opportunities to evolve hiring, retention, and advancement practices that reflect a value for antiracism and inclusion. To learn more about our EVOLVE Network or our Fair Chance Hiring work with the USC Price Center for Social Change, click the button and complete our form.

Join the conversation. Follow @Leaders_Up and @USCPriceCSI and use #FairChanceHiring and #Ready2Work.