Nearly 40 Top Companies Join Obama’s Revolutionary “First Job” Program

First Job Hiring and Recruiting Compact

It’s the age-old catch-22: you need a job to get experience, but you cannot get a job without experience.

Earlier this year, President Obama launched a new initiative designed to solve this problem called the First Job Hiring and Recruiting Compact.

Now, nearly 40 big name companies have joined together to help new graduates land their first job.

Here’s what you need to know about how this initiative works, what companies joined, and how it will benefit current students and recent graduates.

Difficulty getting first jobs

For many new graduates, landing a job out of school can feel next to impossible.

That’s because one of the main things employers look for when evaluating their candidate pool is work experience. Even for entry-level roles. Yet, that discrepancy can prevent many fresh grads from getting hired.

And that’s a huge problem. When a young person fails to land that first role, it can have long-lasting implications for their future.

According to the White House, people who experience unemployment between the ages of 16 and 24 earn about $400,000 less over the course of their careers than their peers.

Overall, getting people on the path to employment after graduation is pivotal for their financial success. Not to mention an employed workforce can provide significant benefits for the U.S. economy.

The First Job Hiring and Recruiting Compact

On October 11, President Obama announced that nearly 40 of the nation’s largest employers, including Walmart, AT&T, and Hilton Worldwide, joined the First Job Compact.

This development is in addition to the hundreds of smaller companies who have already joined the program.

Essentially, each company that joins the First Job Compact commits itself to best practices for hiring inexperienced young people between the ages of 16 and 24 for both internships and entry-level positions.

That means truly looking at people with zero experience for entry-level positions, rather than asking for a year or two of work history for a starting role.

At the end of the day, giving these applicants a look can increase their chances of getting well-paying work. It can also help them get their feet in the door of their chosen industries.

What’s more, the First Job Compact doesn’t just benefit young workers. It benefits companies, too.

Research shows that companies that invest in young workers have higher retention rates and employee engagement than other employers. This can help them save money on recruiting new talent in the long-run.

In a statement issued to the media, Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard, shared his thoughts on the program.

“Programs like this help us to have a real and meaningful impact on the communities where we live and work,” says Banga.

“Together, we can create additional opportunities for young people to get a start in the workforce, while inspiring our current and future employees to drive their own growth and careers,” Banga adds.

Participating companies

Joining the First Job Compact is not a vanity project. It’s a trackable initiative with databases that the government will regularly update.

They’ll also be able to share its progress and show how many people each company hires. That way people can see just how serious each company is about changing how they look at young workers.

To join the First Job Hiring and Recruiting Compact, companies agree to commit to the following practices:

  • Identify jobs and internships for young people with no experience and make them more accessible to low-income individuals
  • Partner with schools, non-profits, and other organizations to connect with young workers
  • Develop a plan for advancement for young workers once hired
  • Track the value young talent adds to the company
  • Develop communications strategy to share how young workers impact the business

The big companies that have signed on to the First Job Compact range from electronics mega brands to food franchises. Below are the companies that have joined so far:

  1. 3M
  2. Alaska Airlines
  3. Archer Daniels Midland Company
  4. AT&T
  5. Chipotle Mexican Grill
  6. CHS
  7. CIELO
  8. Concur Technologies
  9. CVS Health
  10. Delta Air Lines
  11. Dollar General
  12. Fairview Health Services
  13. FedEx
  14.  Frontier Communications
  15. GameStop
  16. Gap, Inc.
  17. Glassdoor, Inc.
  18. Goodwill Industries
  19. The Hershey Company
  20. Hilton Worldwide
  21. IBM
  22. Johnson & Johnson
  23. ManpowerGroup, Inc.
  24. MasterCard
  25. The McDonald’s Corporation
  26. New York Life Insurance
  27. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  28. Potbelly Sandwich Works
  29. Principal Financial Group
  30. Rackspace
  31. Sears
  32. Shinola
  33. Starbucks
  34. T-Mobile USA
  35. U.S. Bank
  36. Viacom, Inc.
  37. Visa, Inc.
  38. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
  39. Xerox Services

How to get your first job

While first jobs or hard to land, this new initiative should make it easier.

So if you’re looking to get your foot in the door with either an internship or an entry-level job, check out these companies first. These businesses have made a public commitment to hiring and developing fresh talent by joining Obama’s First Job Hiring and Recruiting Compact.

Not only are these companies more likely to hire you without any experience, they’re also more likely to invest in your career. You can expect them to provide you with more training and advancement opportunities outlined under the First Job Compact.

If you’re ready to apply to one of these companies, check out these seven ways to make yourself more marketable for post-college jobs. They’ll help increase your chances of getting that first job pronto.

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