New North, Inc. is an 18-county economic development corporation in northeast Wisconsin. We knew that COVID disproportionately affected people of color with job loss and lost income.
We met with Microsoft and quickly acted on their LinkedIn Learning modules that were available for training at no charge. We directed this training to women, veterans and people of color. We also knew we needed to provide the coaching and access to equipment and broadband so they could successfully complete the training. Our partner in this was generator who very quickly created a model from their work with entrepreneurs to an upskilling format. Our first two cohorts were devoted to Customer Service & Sales, as we knew these were learning skills that were transferrable to other positions. Our third cohort was IT Administrator. We also engaged employers in the region who would be part of the training and offer jobs upon the program's completion. As part of this we also included Linkedln's Diversity-Inclusion-Belonging training, seven modules caught by professionals in their fields. Before this was launched as part of the upskilling, our whole team went through this Diversity training, along with our board members and their associates from their executive teams.
70 percent of the participants are gainfully employed with the remaining continuing their journey.
The road for our region's D&I Journey is not straight-but splattered with bumps and pot holes. However long the road, we will keep the wheels in motion.