T.D. Jakes Foundation Weekly Updates – August 16, 2021

August 16, 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

In anticipation of the launch of the PATHWAY program, we’re talking to some of the exceptional candidates in our Skills Database. For our second profile, we spoke to Chelsie Burroughs, who is enrolled in a master’s program focusing on reporting, producing and anchoring, with her sights on her sights set on going straight into anchoring at a news station after graduation. Read about Chelsie here.

Today the T.D. Jakes Foundation officially launched 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.

Education Update

Dallas area schools are reopening with in-person instruction. However, many students are still struggling to complete their homework because of poor internet connections and lack of devices like laptops in the home. It’s what’s being called the homework gap. AT&T is helping to address this problem, ensuring that students stay connected to digital learning by launching new initiatives that expand support for educational programs. Read more here.

To ensure the safety and well-being of staff and students, Dallas ISD is offering a one-time incentive of $500 to district employees who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To get the incentive, employees should fill out the vaccination incentive form and submit proof of vaccination (COVID vaccination card, IMM Track print out or written confirmation from the employee’s medical provider) by Nov. 15. Check out DISD’s blog for more.

Paying for college is daunting even in good economic times. When Covid brought the country to a standstill, one-quarter of last year’s high school graduates delayed their college plans, according to a survey from Junior Achievement and Citizens, largely because their parents or guardians were less able to provide financial support. Even now, cost remains a top concern. Six in 10 college-bound high school students said the pandemic has changed their view of higher education, according to a report by Fidelity Investments. Read more from CNBC.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Administrators and career service leaders at some of the nation’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities, also known as HBCUs, say recruitment of their students and graduates by major corporations has dramatically increased since the police murder of George Floyd more than a year ago. CNN has more.

Recent research that McKinsey conducted in collaboration with Walmart, the Kellogg Foundation, and Policy Link indicates that Black employees across the private sector lack equitable access to opportunity and advancement. The challenges Black workers face mean that to reach our diversity and inclusion goals—which research tells us are business-critical—business leaders will need to take more sustained action to accelerate progress. Fortune has four ways that companies can advance inclusion for Black employees.

Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the heightened awareness of racial inequality, companies have been scrambling to expand their recruiting pipelines and hire more minority employees. Nowhere is the imbalance more evident than in the lucrative and dynamic technology sector, especially Big Tech, where the number of Black and Latino workers in technical roles and in leadership is in the low single digits. Crain’s has more.

According to Bob Clark, founder and executive chairman of Clayco, the people you choose to put into positions of leadership are responsible for building a more inclusive workforce for everyone and setting a powerful example for others in the business. Welcoming and empowering diverse team members needs to start from the very top. Read more about his thoughts in Crain’s Chicago Business.

Digital Divide

New technologies could help bridge the digital divide in sparsely populated places where it can cost $30,000 a mile to deploy fiber cable for just a few customers. Read more about these technological advances here.

The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t create the digital divide; it only exposed how deep it is. It didn’t make our systems fail; it showed us where our systems desperately needed to improve. Over the past year and a half, American families from all backgrounds — but especially communities of color — have faced tremendous economic challenges and personal hardship. But one way to unlock economic opportunity is by removing the digital divide. Forbes has more.

Help Wanted

Job postings requiring a Covid-19 vaccine have jumped sharply in the past month among a wide range of businesses, according to a new analysis published Thursday by job site Indeed. The increase comes as the highly contagious delta variant has fueled a surge in virus cases; vaccines have become more broadly available; and more businesses mandate vaccination as they bring their workforces back to the office. Read more here.

The United States economy and job market are growing strong. Last week, we saw nearly one million new jobs were added in the U.S. Now, a record-setting 10.1 million jobs are available, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report. Ironically, the good news created a new problem: Businesses can’t find employees due to the huge increase in demand for workers. To compete for talent, companies are raising wages, offering sign-on bonuses and even paying for college tuition. Read more in Forbes.


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