Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias has announced the launch of Road2Hire, a nonprofit designed to upskill unemployed and underemployed young adults through personal and professional development as well as job placement support. Elias will personally invest $5 million dollars in the program.
Road2Hire is aimed at the 33% of young high school graduates who, according to a recent article in the New York Times, are either unemployed or underemployed, meaning they would like a full-time job but can only find part-time work. (May, 2016)
“This is a population in our community that is largely overlooked and underestimated.” said Elias. “Road2Hire is going to provide them with a clear path to jobs that will help them break into the middle class.”
Unlocking more earning power has proven difficult – particularly for those in the Charlotte area. A study from Harvard University and UC-Berkeley placed the Charlotte area last in a list of 50 communities ranked by economic mobility. This means that a child born to a lower income family in Charlotte-Mecklenburg is less likely to move up the economic ladder than in most other cities.
Elias believes that the power to change that statistic exists in the private sector.
“Businesses can and should lead the way to economic opportunity for those willing to work for it,” Elias said. “We want to create a new movement in corporate responsibility and we think we can do that right here in the Carolinas.”
Over the course of several months, those admitted into the Road2Hire program will be trained on interpersonal, life-management and workforce preparation skills. Upon graduation of the program they will get access to job placement opportunities with Red Ventures and other local businesses.
Currently two distinctive schools exist within the Road2Hire platform. Sales, which will focus on sales and customer service job training and placement for high school graduates, and Tech, which is a continuation of the Code2Hire program which launched in May of 2014.
“The reality is that more and more people are getting left behind on the road to economic mobility.” said Chandler Martin, Director of Road2Hire. “We know that there are high-potential young adults in the Carolinas who just need the right skills and support to break out of the cycle of poverty and we are bullish in our ability to create new onramps into the middle class for those without a four year degree.”
Applications for both are open through June 20th via the program website at www.road2hire.org. Road2Hire will launch its first class for Sales this summer and its third class for Tech after that.
Road2Hire envisions an America where every young adult has career opportunities that promote economic mobility, regardless of one’s ability to afford a college education. Our mission is to dramatically expand professional development opportunities for motivated young adults.