A new coalition of corporate chief executives representing 27 major employers is pledging to hire 100,000 low-income and minority workers by 2030. The effort includes JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.
The group, called the New York Jobs CEO Council, said its goal is to hire early-career job candidates from low-income and Black, Latinx and Asian communities in New York City and slot them in positions with long-term career potential. To that end, the group said it will provide job opportunities and apprenticeships for 25,000 students at City University of New York, or CUNY.
The effort comes amid the disparate impact from the coronavirus pandemic on low-income and minority workers, who have faced higher rates of layoffs than higher-income and white workers. At the same time, the Black Lives Matter protests, following the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, have raised awareness of systemic racism which creates additional hurdles for minority workers.
“The COVID crisis highlighted a sad societal truth: Underserved communities too often pay the highest price, and as we work to build back better from this virus, New York is confronting this injustice head on,” New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement about the initiative.
Does the U.S. need another Reconstruction?
The New York region has the largest gross domestic product of any metropolitan statistical area in the nation, the group said. But not everyone is enjoying the fruits of that prosperity, with joblessness 85% higher in the Bronx than in Manhattan before the pandemic, the group said.
About 6 out of 10 Hispanics and 4 out of 10 Blacks said they or someone in their household was laid off or had their wages cut in April, when the pandemic effectively shuttered the U.S. economy, according to a Pew survey. That compares to 38% of whites who said they experienced the same impact.
Among the other corporate leaders joining the coalition are IBM CEO Arvind Krishna; Blackrock CEO Larry Fink; Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan; Google CEO Sundar Pichai; and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.