Merck and GM Join Group Pledging 1 Million Black Hires in a Decade

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Merck and GM Join Group Pledging 1 Million Black Hires in a Decade” – below is their description.

    A new group that includes Merck & Co., General Motors Co. and Walmart Inc. is pledging $100 million in an effort to hire 1 million Black workers during the next decade, expanding on existing corporate vows to increase minority employment.

    The OneTen initiative, co-chaired by Merck Chief Executive Officer Ken Frazier and International Business Machines Corp. Executive Chairman Ginni Rometty, will focus on hiring and training Black workers without four-year college degrees, according to the plan released Thursday. The goal is to provide “family sustaining” jobs that pay an average of about $50,000 a year.

    Other members of the founding board include Ken Chenault, former CEO of American Express Co.; Charles Phillips, chairman of the Black Economic Alliance; and Kevin Sharer, former CEO of Amgen Inc. and former faculty member at Harvard Business School.

    Companies are under pressure from investors, employees and activists to increase workforce diversity and give more opportunities to minorities after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police sparked widespread protests. Black American have consistently had higher unemployment rates than White people and trailed in promotions and pay.

    The group aims to get more companies on board, especially in the manufacturing industry, and establish more connections with non-profits, Frazier said in an interview. It also hopes to scale up currently available training programs.

    “We’re starting from a standing start, this is not where we want to end up,” Frazier said. “We think of it as a startup.”

    OneTen will begin working with employers in the first quarter of next year and start connecting them with recruiters the following quarter. Member companies will agree to specific hiring targets of 250 to 500 workers based on their size. Each company is also providing the seed capital to fund the project.

    The initiative is specifically targeting middle class jobs and workers who don’t have a college degree, Rometty said in the joint interview. At IBM, 43% of jobs no longer require a four-year degree, she said.“This is a segment that is not tapped broadly,” she said. “We feel that this is a moment that we can’t let go by.”

    The OneTen coalition is one of many recent attempts to increase corporate workforce diversity.

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    In This Story: Merck

    Merck & Co., Inc., d.b.a. Merck Sharp & Dohme outside the United States and Canada, is an American multinational pharmaceutical company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Merck is incorporated in New Jersey.

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