A new coalition of businesses has announced the formation of OneTen, an organization that aims to upskill, hire and promote 1 million Black Americans over the next 10 years. Minneapolis-based Cargill was one of the 37 founding member companies, along with PepsiCo, Walmart and others.

“While events of the past year have increased public awareness of racism and inequality, the 'why' behind Cargill’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has not changed: It is core to our values, and it will enable the innovation and breakthrough thinking necessary to achieve our goals,” said Myriam Beatove, Cargill’s chief human resources officer.

“That is why Cargill is proud to join forces with more than 30 other leading companies in OneTen to leverage our collective strength to drive meaningful, sustainable and systemic change that addresses one of the root causes of the racial divide in the U.S. – economic opportunity,” she added.

Cargill, the largest privately-held company in the U.S., employs about 155,000 individuals around the globe.

OneTen says it will connect Black talent with employers who are looking for employees who have valuable skills but may not have a four-year degree, which is a barrier for many Black and other underrepresented Americans who often do not have the financial means to pursue higher education.

“The newly established organization will cultivate an ecosystem that brings together major employers, in partnership with the nation's leading non-profits and other skill-credentialing organizations, to create a more flexible talent pipeline and practices that will allow employees and employers to thrive by shifting to a skills-first paradigm,” OneTen noted in a release.

The organization said it will begin working in January 2021 with partner employers to improve workplace inclusivity practices and will connect talent providers to partner employers shortly thereafter.

OneTen is launched with the support of 37 founding CEOs and companies across industries. Members include Accenture, ADP, Allstate, American Express, Amgen, Aon, AT&T, Bain & Company, Bank of America, Cargill, Caterpillar, Cisco, Cleveland Clinic, Comcast, Deloitte, Delta Air Lines, Eli Lilly, General Motors, HP Inc., Humana, IBM, Illinois Tool Works, Intermountain Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe's, Medtronic, Merck, Nike, Nordstrom, PepsiCo, Roper Technologies, Stryker, Target, Trane Technologies, Verizon, Walmart and Whirlpool Corporation.

Other firms are invited to join, including small and medium-size businesses, which power the majority of the U.S. economy.

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