JOHNNY C. TAYLOR JR.

While “Diversity” is not a new term for the business world, it appears to be experiencing a resurgence of sorts lately. Every major corporation seems to be looking for employees from underrepresented groups—some, because they think these diverse perspectives will improve their corporate culture and make them better corporate citizens, while others believe it is simply “smart business” as they vie for future customers in an increasingly diverse country. But in all its attempts to make progress when it comes to recruiting future executives from America’s colleges, most employers continue to source their talent from the “usual suspects”—the same group of select colleges we all know—effectively ignoring deep pools of talented students attending other lesser-known or ranked schools.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, has designed a solution for employers seeking highly-talented diverse college graduates. We work with our corporate partners to identify, develop and deploy diverse talent, tapping into pools of talent found on the campuses of our 47 publicly-supported Historically Black College and Universities. Through this process, TMCF builds targeted, sustainable and diverse talent pipelines from HBCUs into corporate America and other major employers.

Indeed, according to the National Science Foundation, of the top 25 undergraduate institutions whose graduates went on to complete STEM doctorates (2,280), 12 HBCUs out-produced prestigious institutions (“the usual suspects”) by 64 percent, and 30 percent of African American STEM doctoral recipients were HBCU undergraduates. For the past 30 years, TMCF has built deep relationships with our member-schools, which allows us to efficiently find and develop the right students for specific positions.

TMCF uses predictive analytics to ensure that qualified talent have both the knowledge, acculturation, and other “soft skills” for them to be successful in a given partner’s workplace culture. Next, we develop those students through a variety of school-to-work professional and career development interventions. Finally, once our talent begins work with our partners as either full-time employees or interns, we monitor and provide additional support to ensure they transition properly. As a result, more than 80 national and global corporations and government agencies partner with TMCF to identify, develop and deploy diverse talent for specific positions and functions.

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