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NEW YORK OneTen, a coalition of leading CEOs and their organizations, today announced the launch of the initial version of their Talent platform that will kick off OneTen’s ambitious program to hire, upskill, reskill and promote one million Black individuals without 4 year degrees into family-sustaining careers over the next 10 years. OneTen will lead an expert community of Black talent, Employers, Workforce developers such as Education providers and Wraparound supports, and Technology companies in creating an innovative career and skills development marketplace that both strengthens existing support systems and can help disrupt systemic barriers.

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As an initial step in supporting OneTen’s mission, Bain & Company, The Bridgespan Group, Eightfold, IBM (NYSE: IBM), and Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) are collaborating to build a career and skills development ecosystem that facilitates the path for applicants to understand potential career paths, identify needed skills and educational opportunities, and create digital portfolios of the skills and credentials they have acquired through employment, education or self-directed learning. OneTen anticipates that the list of partners supporting this talent platform will continue to grow as the solution evolves.

The initial launch will focus on national opportunities across the US to help Black talent explore career options with all existing member Employers, identify skills gaps needed for advancement, work to fill those gaps through accredited learning providers and ultimately get matched to the optimal job. Beginning in the fourth quarter of this year, the OneTen talent platform will be available to all existing member Employers, with plans to add further functionality making it the premier platform for Black talent in the United States. On the Talent developer side, OneTen is working to endorse national, regional and local sets of providers that can help equip Black talent with the skills they need for roles in the OneTen coalition, as needed. Key Talent developer partners include 2U, Apprenti, IBM SkillsBuild Program, Multiverse, Merit America, NPower, Per Scholas, P-TECH, Purdue Global, Resilient Coders, Udacity, Year Up, and others that will offer training, certifications, and credentials.

Traditional hiring processes are highly subjective and can have multiple barriers that complicate access to economic opportunities for people of color. Without being able to easily and credibly assess skills, implicit bias can shape the recruiting and hiring processes.

“The more employers can rely on skills in the hiring process, the less likely bias can influence hiring outcomes,” said OneTen CEO Maurice Jones. “We see the use of a skills-first approach as a business imperative to not only open the aperature of who is included in the talent pool, therefore making it more equitable, but also producing better business outcomes with higher performance and retention. By focusing more on skills, we can fast-track the career development of Black talent so they can more quickly find appropriate education opportunities and high-paying jobs.”

The platform will also aim to create consistent tools and processes across three key stakeholders: Black talent, Talent development organizations that upskill / reskill Black talent, and the Employers in the OneTen coalition who are looking to hire, promote and advance Black talent to fill roles requiring in-demand skills.

  • For Black Talent: The OneTen Talent platform allows people to build out skills-based digital profiles, from which they can create skills maps, take advantage of career planning resources, and track their progress toward reskilling / upskilling for desired jobs or positions. Once courses are completed, members can verify that new skills have been acquired through the issuance of digital credentials anchored in trust.
  • For Endorsed Talent Developers and Education Institutions: Organizations focused on cultivating talent benefit by gaining insights into in-demand skills at major employers. They are also able to help their students and participants acquire those skills and verify them so they can be more easily connected to promising career opportunities.
  • For Employers: Employers can use the platform to create and manage job postings; align job postings with trusted industry career frameworks and certifications; and find and engage with Talent development organizations and Black talent with the specific skillsets required for available jobs.

OneTen’s talent platform is built using advanced artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. Key components of the platform include eightfold’s AI-based tools that help identify skills and match applicants with jobs they might be interested in, as well as the courses and learning opportunities that will make them more competitive candidates. IBM’s Learning Credential Network blockchain provides valued information on the degrees, skills badges, certifications and credentials that Talent has earned over the course of their career. IBM will act as the systems integrator for the development of the talent platform.

“OneTen has a deeply important mission: Identifying and cultivating Black talent who the traditional career development pipelines have left behind, training them, and positioning them for success in a career,” said Obed Louissaint, Senior Vice President, Transformation and Culture, IBM. “We hope that by placing more Black individuals in these fields, we will not only create careers and support families, but also create meaningful change in the organizations smart enough to hire them.”

“People often respond to criticism about the lack of diversity in their organizations by saying there is a lack of talent. There is an abundance of Black talent in America, and OneTen is going to help by identifying individuals and connecting them to family sustaining job opportunities,” said Merck CEO and OneTen Board Co-Chair Ken Frazier. “A verifiable jobs and skills ecosystem catered to Black talent can help address some of these gaps. It gives people the opportunity to learn about jobs they might be qualified for, while also acquiring the skills they may be lacking.”