Tackling global unemployment with BlackRock, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft Corp., and Verizon

Generation, the non-profit global employment organization, has secured $77 million in new funding and $50 million in in-kind resources from BlackRock, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft Corp., and Verizon, to accelerate its work in tackling unemployment across 14 countries around the world. This combined commitment will allow Generation to support people who face systemic barriers to employment — particularly young adult and midcareer workers — as COVID-19 continues to threaten jobs and global economic growth.

Generation trains, places, and supports diverse people into life-changing careers that would otherwise be inaccessible. BlackRock, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, and Verizon will enable the significant expansion of Generation’s collaboration with governments and other workforce partners, globally, supporting the embedding of Generation’s approach within large-scale, existing systems to tackle COVID-19 jobs recovery and beyond. With the new funding, Generation and its workforce partners will serve 75,000 people over the next two years, placing them into work that provides stable income and supports them to transform their lives and communities. This funding will also support Generation in undertaking new global research to yield insights for workforce programs, employers, and policy makers. The group’s commitment encompasses cash funding, in-kind resources, and connections to employers in their ecosystems for Generation graduates.

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To date, Generation has 40,000 graduates from its employment programs in 14 countries across 30 professions that span four sectors; technology, healthcare, customer service, and skilled trades. 93% of Generation learners are unemployed when entering the program, and 84% of graduates are placed in jobs within 3 months of completion.

Large-scale economic and social shifts resulting from the global pandemic have deepened the problem of inequity in employment opportunity. The impact is expected to push 47 million women and girls into extreme poverty, and more than one in six young people are already out of work. This new coalition will work with thousands of public, private, and social sector partners to help create an inclusive jobs recovery.

Dr. Mona Mourshed, founding global CEO of Generation, comments: “The climb to employment was already challenging for the people Generation serves. Now, with the global pandemic devastating entire sectors and livelihoods for millions, it has steepened dramatically. We believe we can rise to this challenge and fundamentally transform education to employment systems and connect people who face significant systemic barriers to work with life-changing opportunities. We are delighted that our global partners share this vision and with their generous commitments, our reach and impact can accelerate — at a time when it matters most.”

Deborah Winshel, Global Head of Social Impact at BlackRock and President of the BlackRock Foundation, comments:
“Generation’s focus on breaking down barriers to meaningful employment is aligned with the BlackRock Foundation’s goals of promoting equitable economic opportunity in our communities. We’re excited to be supporting a purpose-driven partner with ambitious growth plans to help more people into durable, sustainable careers.”

Anne-Marie Frassica, Director of Giving Back, McKinsey & Company, comments:
“Our belief in the power of work to transform people’s lives and their communities is embodied in our founding and enduring support of Generation. We are excited to join together with industry-leading companies to support Generation’s mission and work. Our contribution provides flexible, unrestricted resources that will enable Generation to create greater economic opportunities for those most affected by the global pandemic through COVID recovery and beyond.”

Kate Behncken, Vice President and Lead, Microsoft Philanthropies, comments:
“Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not, and Generation is working to change this around the world by preparing and placing unemployed and underemployed people into meaningful careers. Microsoft’s partnership with Generation will accelerate our collective commitment to ensure every person has the skills and opportunity to succeed in the digital economy.”

Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Verizon, comments:
“Through our responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon, we’re partnering with Generation to scale up initiatives that help people obtain the skills they need to thrive in the workforce; helping to build a more inclusive and equitable society and helping us to realize our goal to reskill and upskill half a million people over the course of the next 10 years. We’re excited to be a part of this coalition and support Generation’s vision to create new opportunities for those who face economic disparities and unequal access to the tools that will help advance their skills, their education and their chance for economic prosperity.”