New initiative, OneTen set to upskill Black Americans

SOURCE: Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times/AFP
Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and C.E.O., IBM is one of the founders of OneTen.

By U2B Staff 

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A coalition of 37 CEOs across industries from leading organisations announced the formation of OneTen, an association that will combine the power of these committed American companies to upskill, hire and promote one million Black Americans over the next 10 years.

OneTen is an initiative that connects employers with talent partners, leading non-profits and other skill-credentialing organisations that support the development of diverse talent.

Partnering organisations will develop, retain and advance diverse and underrepresented talent, and make a commitment to hire or promote Black Americans without four-year degrees.


Organisations participating in this initiative include Accenture, American Express, AT&T, Bain & Company, Bank of America, Cargill, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Verizon, Walmart and even PepsiCo, among others.

This new initiative aims to create jobs for Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement.

The launch of this initiative comes as a timely measure as “all Americans share an aspiration for greater economic opportunity, leading executives and employers across industries are taking action to make a meaningful, measurable and lasting systemic impact on racial and economic justice and to create a more equitable society”.

OneTen aims to tackle the constraints of the current system is lacks inclusivity and has reinforced systemic barriers that have prevented many Black Americans from the opportunity to succeed.

The formation of this coalition has set out to change the way companies provide more equitable environments to drive better business outcomes and benefit all employees.

OneTen aims to cultivate an ecosystem that combines major American employers, the nation’s leading non-profits and other skill-credentialing organisations to create a “flexible talent pipeline and practices that will allow employees and employers to thrive by shifting to a skills-first paradigm”.


OneTen was founded by Chairman and Managing Director of General Catalyst, Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO of Merck, Ken Frazier, Executive Chairman, and former CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty, and other CEOs from leading organisations.  The founders of OneTen will serve on the board with other participating CEOs.

“This is a moment in time for Americans to move past our divisions to come together and reach our full potential as a nation. Our country’s workforce of the future will be an increasingly diverse one,” said Ken Frazier.

“Through the creation of one million jobs for Black Americans over the next 10 years, OneTen has the potential to address persistent inter-generational gaps in opportunity and wealth.”

Rometty said that this initiative will not only help the participating organisations but will remove structural barriers that have disproportionately hindered Black Americans from joining middle-class society. This will prove to be beneficial to all Americans.

“By bringing together a coalition of key leaders and asking them to make long-term commitments, we have the ability to change employment practices and help break down systemic barriers opening the door to full participation in our economy,” Rometty added.