T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – August 2, 2021

August 2, 2021

We want to serve as a resource.  To keep you abreast of critical issues dominating the national discourse—including diversity, equity and inclusion; the digital divide; STEAM education; entrepreneurship and small business—we’re compiling timely news and information in one place because the first step to fixing a problem is understanding it.

T.D. Jakes Foundation in Action

Recently, our founder and Chairman T.D. Jakes spoke with Relevant Magazine on healing a divided culture and why we need to start talking to each other again. Read the full article here.

On August 17, the T.D. Jakes Foundation will officially launch the PATHWAY program’s Virtual Hiring Platform, a 365 days-a-year program connecting job candidates to corporations actively recruiting diverse talent. We encourage people at all stages in their careers, from entry-level candidates and recent college graduates to experienced job seekers and advanced-degree holders to become part of the program! Visit our website to learn more and submit your information and connect with companies looking for diverse talent!

Need additional resources around STEAM this summer? The T.D. Jakes Foundation has compiled a list of STEAM resources for the arts, coding, and engineering and even resources specifically for kids and teachers. Check out our STEAM resources here.

Help Wanted

In a three-part series looking at the Great Reversal, Scott Burns with The Dallas Morning news explains why, after half a century of insecurity, workers — all workers — may be entering a long period of pay increases. Read more here.

So far, a dozen states that were the first to cut pandemic jobless benefits have experienced hiring growth on par with states that kept the federal benefits, an analysis has found. These 12 states blamed the generous unemployment benefits for keeping workers on the sidelines, but early evidence suggests that other issues — ranging from pandemic health concerns to problems with childcare — may be weighing on the job market. Read more from CBS News.

Companies are in desperate need of workers across the country as the economic reopening collides with a tight labor market, but the boom in manual-labor job wage growth pre-dates the pandemic. Economic forecasters have been watching blue-collar and manual service wages trend upwards for the last several years, growing at a faster rate than wages for white-collar jobs and reversing a trend that had been in place throughout the past 30 years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. CNBC has more.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The numbers are crystal clear — companies who cultivate a diverse workforce are more productive, creative, and innovative. Tiffany Pham, CEO of Mogul, details the four steps companies should take if they want a more inclusive and equitable workforce. Read more in Entrepreneur.

In June of 2020, Sephora pledged to make the shopping and employment environment more inclusive and equitable for customers, employees and the larger beauty community. Recently, Sephora announced key milestones and accomplishments toward its drive to create an inclusive environment for all. The company is aligning its strategy with culture and is following through on the commitments it made in June of 2020, which include increasing Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned brands in the merchandise assortment, joining the 15 Percent Pledge, and creating training modules for employees on anti-racism, unconscious bias and cultural allyship. Read more in Forbes.

Digital Divide

Dallas ISD spearheaded Operation Connectivity with the vision of providing high-speed, reliable internet and digital devices to all Dallas ISD households to facilitate remote learning during the pandemic. After meeting the initial goal of getting approximately 40,000 students connected quickly in 2020, the Dallas ISD Technology Department began exploring more permanent solutions. Read more on DISD’s The Hub.

The U.S. Senate is on the cusp of approving a bipartisan infrastructure package, which recently passed a critical first vote by 67-32. One group says that the investments in the infrastructure package to address the country’s digital divide is a good step but won’t end the digital divide. And if the federal, state and local governments are not careful with the implementation of the investments, we could create a new digital divide, this one between those with 21st-century access and those without. Read more from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Education Update

Dallas Independent School District is reminding parents what they need to know to keep schools COVID-safe. Read its top 10 list here.

Education leaders in Dallas and across the state consider tutoring a key part of their long-term strategy for catching students up after the pandemic. Research shows tutoring can be extremely effective, if done right. But district officials know that it will be a costly investment and that simply throwing federal coronavirus funding at the effort won’t be enough to generate results. The Dallas Morning News has more.

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, says it will start paying 100% tuition for its debt-free college perk as part of a $1 billion commitment to career training and development over the next five years. The program — available on day one for full-time and part-time associates— has seen more than 52,000 associates participate and 8,000 earn a degree or certificate. As of this summer, nearly 28,000 associates are active in the program. Read more from Yahoo Finance.


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