LeadersUp Organization Spearheading Next Generation Employment Uptick Is Salve for Economic Downturn

Whitney Smith, Executive Director — Midwest, JPMorgan Chase and Co. Global Philanthropy, along with LeadersUp President and CEO Jeffery T.D. Wallace, kicked-off the roundtable discussion on employing the next generation workforce.

CHICAGO, IL — The specter of the remaining Baby Boomers exiting the workforce en masse has returned with a vengeance, as more news reports roll out, detailing how fewer employees will equate to a stagnated economic future. The millennial approach to replenishing the current corporate ranks has generally been met with holy water in one hand and a cross in the other. So, how can the American job market regain its allure from days of old?

One entity that’s not holding out hope, but is already providing it, is LeadersUp — a full-service talent recruitment and development organization specializing in helping businesses connect to the next generation of talent. On Thursday, September 22, some of the LeadersUp C-Suite hosted a roundtable discussion at Chase Towers, located at 10 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL, meeting with board representatives, as well as over a dozen fellow local C-Suite executives to discuss strategies in attracting and retaining younger job-seekers for entry-level corporate positions.

Next-Gen Challenges

LeadersUp President and CEO Jeffery T.D. Wallace.

Whitney Smith, Executive Director — Midwest, JPMorgan Chase and Co. Global Philanthropy, as well as LeadersUp President and CEO Jeffery T.D. Wallace, kicked-off the roundtable. Smith and Wallace cited some of the main challenges youth nationwide face that bind them as unemployment statistics: lack of sufficient transportation, proper childcare and safe housing, as the top three.

Attendees discussed how the LeadersUp Widening the Circle of Opportunity initiative — the what, why and how of reaching young people not currently enrolled in college due to lack of affordability — can ultimately help them turn their economic standards around.

Millennial Issues = Employer Challenges

C.H. Robinson Chief Human Resources Officer and Employer Pathway Pilot representative Angie Freeman.

C.H. Robinson Chief Human Resources Officer and C.H. Robinson Employer Pathway Pilot representative Angie Freeman presented statistics of the program’s success. The floor was eventually opened to the executive attendees to cite their challenges with attracting and retaining next generation talent. One executive cited increasing starting salary to offset any reservations younger applicants might have toward commuting to the organization’s suburban location.

Lisa Hampton, LeadersUp Associate Director of Programs — Midwest.

An elephant in the room that’s commonly addressed when discussing millennials and employment is the need for teams to work on-site, instead of virtual — or working from home. Wallace and other executives discussed at great length the importance of personal interactions between multiple generations. Lisa Hampton, Associate Director of Programs — Midwest, discussed the importance of millennials learning the precepts of professional communication (E.g., crafting professional letters, e-mails, etc.), versus peer text communicating, citing it as a necessary life skill to ensure success.

About LeadersUp

Aida Morrow and LeadersUp Communications Director Lenee Richards.

LeadersUp — a 501©(3) organization headquartered in Los Angeles — was established in 2013 by the Starbucks Corporation and launched by some of its leading U.S. suppliers. LeadersUp partners with mid- to large-sized companies, providing a sustainable pipeline of highly motivated talent that is customized to meet specific business needs. Other parties standing in the gap as philanthropic investors, strategic partners and champions / employer partners include — but are not limited to — The City of Los Angeles, Starbucks, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Rockefeller Foundation, LinkedIn, FedEx, UPS, Accenture, Cintas, as well as the Prudential Foundation, just to name a few.

Only You Can Prevent Youth Unemployment

Ultimately, LeadersUp seeks even more corporate hierarchy as partners to share the LeadersUp vision: ensure every individual has equal access to opportunities for upward mobility, achieve financial security and actively contribute towards our nation’s economic future.

The LeadersUp Widening the Circle of Opportunity roundtable in Chicago was the program’s inaugural effort to reach out to the local C-suite.

For more information or to join in on this initiative, visit LeadersUp at www.LeadersUp.org.

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