At World Tour NYC, Salesforce announced $5 million in workforce development grants to seven organizations that widen opportunity and create pathways for people with nontraditional backgrounds to build successful careers in technology. This brings Salesforce’s total philanthropic investment in workforce development to $39 million to date.
Too many people from underserved communities are systematically excluded from careers in technology – and that gap only widens during times of economic uncertainty. We’re committed to breaking down barriers and supporting programs that open the doors of opportunity for people of all backgrounds.Ebony Beckwith, Chief Business Officer and CEO of the Salesforce Foundation
Today’s announcement includes $2.5 million to help expand the work of Next Chapter, a nonprofit that creates employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals and works to break down the stigma surrounding people with a criminal record.
“Next Chapter’s mission is to build equitable workplaces that empower anyone with the opportunity to thrive,” said Kenyatta Leal, Executive Director, Next Chapter. “Salesforce’s investment unlocks more pathways for the next generation of apprentices and graduates to get a fair shot with a great employer.”
Funding will also support organizations working to advance economic opportunities for marginalized communities across the United States and UK, including refugees, asylum seekers, and underserved youth.
Widening access to opportunity
Today talent is everywhere — but opportunity is not. Only about 7% of people have college degrees and many from underserved communities lack access to the education and networking opportunities needed to secure jobs in technology.
At the same time, as organizations evolve to keep pace with customer demand, the need for skilled digital talent is spiking. Companies can play a critical role in educating and reskilling workers to succeed in today’s digital economy.
This grant announcement builds on Salesforce’s longstanding mission to democratize education and build pathways for anyone to drive success from anywhere. Through investments in work-based learning opportunities, technical skills training, and professional development programs, Salesforce helps untapped talent build social capital, secure successful careers, and achieve economic prosperity.
At the core of this mission is Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform that provides anyone – regardless of their background or education level – with hands-on access to in-demand technology. Salesforce also supports a diverse set of workforce development initiatives like the Trailblazer Workforce Partner Program and Salesforce Talent Alliance, which are dedicated to training and hiring talent to succeed in today’s digital-first world.
Donations open new pathways across the globe
Today’s announcement will support seven organizations that are taking innovative approaches to help widen access and create economic opportunity across the United States and UK.
- Next Chapter: The grant will support program expansion to create skilled, high-wage employment pathways for people who have previously experienced incarceration, employee engagement initiatives to normalize fair chance hiring, and increase corporate partnerships.
- Code Your Future: The grant will support ongoing efforts to train refugees and asylum seekers for high-paid tech roles across Greater London.
- Catch 22: The grant will support scaling the Digital Leap program, which upskills and reskills unemployed and underemployed young people in London, Manchester, and NW England.
- The Diana Award: The grant will support a mentoring program to young people in the UK to help develop their confidence in work-related skills, improve their overall wellbeing, and increase their social mobility.
- Per Scholas: The grant will advance economic opportunity by expanding the Per Scholas program to Indianapolis and scaling the software engineering program to 10 Per Scholas campuses across the United States.
- Genesys Works: The grant will deliver college and career support to nearly 1,500 high school students, with core program support in the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York, alongside the strengthening of national services.
- Enterprise for Youth: The grant will provide core program support to provide young people in San Francisco and beyond access to paid internship experiences.
Learn more about Salesforce’s commitment to workforce development.