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My Brother's Keeper Alliance's "Pathways To Success" Opportunity Summit Connects Young Detroiters With Career Opportunities

November 28, 2016 at 10:29 AM CST

DETROIT — My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) hosted its Pathways to Success: Boys and Young Men of Color Opportunity Summit on November 14 at Cobo Center, providing nearly 1,100 attendees opportunities to engage with more than 40 local and national employers for on-the-spot hiring and career exploration activities. The summit, designed to eliminate barriers to success and prepare boys and young men of color for gainful employment, ultimately resulted in 578 interviews and 358 job offers and conditional offers.

"These events are about more than connecting talent to jobs. It's about providing the resources and support these young men need to achieve long-term personal and professional success despite the barriers they often face," said MBK Alliance CEO, Blair Taylor. "With the help of the City of Detroit and Detroit's community, business, and philanthropic leaders, we aim to create enduring change that leads to a better future not only for these young men but for the city as a whole."

Walgreens, Starbucks, Teavana, Bedrock Real Estate Services, Detroit Manufacturing Systems, and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department were among the companies that extended numerous on-the-spot job offers. In addition to employment opportunities, the summit connected attendees to resources including resume-building services, mentorship sessions, mock interviews, pre-interview haircuts, and a Macy's-sponsored tie bar. Event partners Uber and Lyft also provided discounted rides to and from the event for those in need of transportation assistance.

"This program is one of the best I've seen. You have the current President of the United States behind it, you have the business community behind it, you have the philanthropic community behind it," said Quicken Loans founder and chairman, Dan Gilbert. "Cooperation between the foundations, government, and private industry is really what it's all about to make sure great things in the city continue to happen."

Gilbert joined Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to kick off the event at a breakfast with participating youth. Mayor Duggan then spoke to the importance of this type of initiative at a press conference, and Taylor laid the groundwork for MBK Alliance's ongoing support for Detroit's boys and young men of color in partnership with the mayor and local community-based organizations. The press conference also featured remarks from representatives of the White House, Lyft, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, and summit sponsor The Skillman Foundation.

"Our work with MBK Alliance on this opportunity summit is an important first step toward ensuring bright futures for all Detroiters, especially our young men of color," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. "The obstacles these young men face are very real, and we're proud to be a part of a program that helps them connect their talents with jobs and opportunity."

While interviews and career activities were in full swing, Taylor, a group of Detroit youth, the Detroit Police Department, members of the NBA and WNBA, and community influencers engaged in solutions-oriented conversation around improving relations between youth, communities, and police.

MBK Alliance partnered with the City of Detroit along with a wide range of leading local and national organizations including Campaign for Black Male Achievement, the Detroit Regional Chamber, SER Metro Detroit, Skillman Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the 100K Opportunities Coalition, all of whom played a critical role in planning and executing the event.

"This opportunity summit has been an amazing activity for our city," said Skillman Foundation President and CEO Tonya Allen. "It has shown our young men that they are valuable, that they are assets to our community, and that we want to create opportunities for them to connect to Detroit's economy."

MBK Alliance's Detroit summit was one of a series of catalyzing events and programs that the organization delivers in cities and communities across the country. MBK Alliance will work in Oakland, Detroit, Newark, Albuquerque, and Memphis as priority cities in the coming year, and the organization will provide resources in 2017 and beyond to the 250+ communities that have accepted the White House's My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge.

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About MBK Alliance

My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) born out of President Obama's call to action to ensure all of our nation's boys and young men of color (BYMOC) have equal opportunity to live up to their full potential. In order to improve life outcomes, MBK Alliance is working to elevate the voices of our nation's BYMOC and to unite business, philanthropy, nonprofit, government, community leaders, and youth around this critical work. This collaborative, cross-sectoral movement led by MBK Alliance is breaking down barriers that BYMOC disproportionately face along the life path to create lasting social change. MBK Alliance was established in 2015 and appointed former Starbucks executive Blair Taylor as CEO in April 2016.