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Dallas to host next 100,000 Opportunities Initiative

BY DSN STAFF

DALLAS – A national coalition of more than 50 leading U.S. companies known as the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative will come together on May 19 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to host the Dallas Opportunity Fair –  an unprecedented, day-long hiring event aimed at 16-24 year olds who are not in school and unemployed.

The event will feature recruiters and resources from top U.S. companies including Starbucks, FedEx, JCPenney, Pizza Hut, Chipotle, Delaware North, Republic Services, Dominos, Sprinkles, Five Guys, Target, Hilton Worldwide, Teavana, HMSHost, T-Mobile, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s, Villa, Papa John’s, Walgreens and Walmart.
                                                                            
Together, they are offering more than 1,700 guaranteed job interviews throughout the day for local positions, as well as the opportunity to connect with more than 30 job-readiness and social services, including resume writing, interview skills and college and financial aid applications – making this the largest and most comprehensive opportunity youth hiring fair ever hosted in Texas. Based on past events in Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Seattle, the coalition expects to extend hundreds of immediate, on-the-spot job offers at the May 19 event.
 
“JCPenney is proud to be one of the founding members of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative coalition and we are in awe of the tremendous progress the cause has achieved in just under two years. We are excited for the next Opportunity & Job Fair to be hosted in our hometown of Dallas, home to a dynamic and thriving retail community,” said Marvin Ellison, chairman and CEO of JCPenney. “A job in retail can be the start of an exciting career path with a variety of opportunities for anyone who is passionate about delivering great products and exceptional customer service. We look forward to continuing our support of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative by engaging young job seekers to join the JCPenney stores team.”
 
Launched in 2015, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative reached its original goal of hiring and engaging 100,000 opportunity youth two years ahead of schedule. But with an estimated 4.9 million young Americans still left out of the U.S. economy, the coalition has since expanded its commitment to a new goal of 1 million hires by 2020. Each of the companies and organizations involved share a commitment to helping youth connect with employers and develop basic job skills. The goal is to get these young men and women into the workforce and on to a long-term pathway to success.
   
In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and around the country, youth unemployment still tops 12%, disproportionately impacting young people from underserved low-income communities. The coalition will work alongside Dallas’ civic and community leaders including the City of Dallas, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, United Way of Metro Dallas, City Square and other key partners to build on existing opportunity youth hiring efforts and ensure the initiative is sustained in the long run.
 
 “We believe it’s our collective responsibility to invest in getting these disconnected youth into the types of jobs that are required for them to lead rewarding, productive lives,” said Ashley Brundage, Senior Vice President, Community Impact, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Their future is our priority. We applaud the leaders of 100,000 Opportunities for bringing global leaders together to make a deep, lasting impact in our future. This partnership furthers our purpose of putting knowledge and opportunity at the at the footstep of so many eager minds. We are excited to collaborate on May 19 to empower, engage, and equip our next generation.”

“We welcome the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative to Dallas.  The event gives corporations with a Dallas presence access to a goldmine of entry-level trainable talent,” said Laurie Bouillion Larrea, president at Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas. “The benefits of youth employment are staggering. Early employment translates to higher earning in adulthood and better financial inclusion. Dallas area companies need this talent and our Dallas youth need paid apprenticeship opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
 
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative now includes more than  50 companies, including: Accenture, Alaska Airlines, Chipotle, Cintas, CVS Health, Delaware North, Domino's, Ernst & Young, FedEx, Five Guys, Food Services of America, Gene Juarez, Greyston Bakery, Hilton WorldWide, HMS Host, Hyatt, JCPenney, JPMorgan Chase, Leisure Care, Lyft, Macy's, Mars, Microsoft, MOD Pizza, Nordstrom, Panda Express, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, Porch, Potbelly, Prudential, Red Robin, Republic Services, Savers, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Starbucks, Sweetgreen, Taco Bell, Target, Teavana, T-Mobile, Toms, Ulta Beauty, Villa, Walgreens, Walmart, and Yum!.
 
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is led by an Executive Committee which provides generous support including FedEx, HMS Host, The Rockefeller Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Starbucks, Yum!, and Walmart Foundation. Premier sponsorship for the event in Dallas is being provided by FedEx Office, JCPenney and the JC Penney Foundation, and Starbucks and the Starbucks Foundation.
 
As it has in Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Seattle, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative will partner with national and local organizations to provide continued investment in Dallas to create pathways to employment for Opportunity Youth in the region, including ongoing hiring fairs and other efforts to train and employ youth.
 

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Kroger promotes multicultural merchandising champion to senior director of diversity

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Tuesday announced that Angel Colón has been promoted to senior director of diversity. He has been serving as the company's director of multicultural development for merchandising since 2008.

Colón succeeds Rueben Shaffer, who retired at the end of March, as Kroger's head of diversity and also assumes the responsibilities for the company's strong supplier diversity program.

"Angel has been on the leading edge of Kroger's multicultural merchandising initiatives, as well as our internal resource groups supporting and promoting the needs of our diverse workforce, for nearly a decade," stated Tim Massa, Kroger's group VP human resources and labor relations. "We look forward to his continued leadership in his new role, where he will be responsible for Kroger's diversity efforts while also continuing to shape and influence our multicultural efforts."

Colón has held a variety of leadership roles in the grocery industry for 27 years, including product management, direct store delivery merchandising, category management, promotions, sales leadership, broker management, regional marketing, customer marketing and ethnic marketing. He joined Kroger in 2008 in his current role, where he established the company's Multicultural Department and strategic direction. Colón was also a founding member of the KEPASA Associate Resource Group at Kroger's general office, which is an affinity group that empowers, supports and advocates for Hispanic and Latino associates.

Colón earned an MBA and lives in Cincinnati with his wife. They have three children.

 

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Walmart launches sustainability platform

BY Brian Berk

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart on Wednesday launched a sustainability platform, which invites suppliers to join the retailer in committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their operations and supply chains.

Dubbed “Project Gigaton,” this initiative will provide an emissions reduction toolkit to a broad network of suppliers seeking to eliminate one gigaton of emissions, focusing on areas such as manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030. According to Walmart, this equals the equivalent to taking more than 211 million passenger vehicles off of U.S. roads and highways for a year.

“We are proud of the improvements we’ve made in reducing our own emissions, but we aim to do more. That’s why we’re working with our suppliers and others on Project Gigaton,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, SVP and chief sustainability officer for Walmart.

Walmart stated it is the first retailer with a verified science-based target emissions-reduction plan. The company aims to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18% by 2025. The retailer will also work to reduce CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, emissions from upstream and downstream Scope 3 sources by one billion tons (a gigaton) between 2015 and 2030.

Project Gigaton is part of a series of Walmart sustainability initiatives, focused on addressing social and environmental issues in ways that help communities while also strengthening business. For example, by investing in solar energy, Walmart has helped to support jobs for American solar companies. Walmart has identified energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation, and product use and design as the goal areas in which to focus their Scope 3 climate efforts. Participating suppliers are encouraged to focus their commitment in one or more of these goal areas.

“Through the years, we’ve seen that integrating sustainable practices into our operations improves business performance, spurs technological innovation, inspires brand loyalty, and boosts employee engagement,” said Laura Phillips, SVP, sustainability for Walmart. “Our suppliers recognize the opportunity to realize those same benefits in their businesses. By working together on such an ambitious goal, we can accelerate progress within our respective companies and deep in our shared supply chains.”

To help suppliers make commitments to emission reduction, or to establish emission reduction projects, Walmart collaborated with NGOs, like World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund, and additional like-minded organizations to create an emissions reduction toolkit. In this toolkit, Walmart highlights the business case for why suppliers should consider signing on to Project Gigaton.

"Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability. The journey products take from source to shelf will collectively shape our planet’s future," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO, World Wildlife Fund. "Project Gigaton is a testament to the transformative impact that leaders of industry can have on our greatest common challenges. As more companies follow in the footsteps of Walmart and their suppliers, we can achieve the critical mass needed to address climate change. Today's commitment represents an important step toward a safer and more prosperous future."

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