Originally Published in Sustainable Brands
Largest private sector investment to date will prepare next generation of global workforce with education and training, build financially stable communities and help break the cycle of poverty.
Today, Prudential Financial, Inc. doubled down on its commitment to make lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world, committing more than $180 million through 2025 to support young people aged 15-29 worldwide who lack access to school, training or regular jobs — a segment of the global population often referred to as opportunity youth. To date, this is the largest private-sector investment in this group.
“Businesses like ours have a role to play in ensuring that global economic progress benefits all members of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. “Our goal is to improve young people’s lives by creating pathways for them to achieve financial wellness, strengthen their communities and ultimately help drive the global economy.”
Prudential’s investment will help young people across the globe gain the right skills to compete for and succeed in quality jobs. This population segment, which accounts for 350 million people worldwide, represents untapped potential for the future workforce. The company will support dedicated partnerships through grants, corporate contributions and impact investments to improve financial security for youth in more than 70 countries.
“We’ve seen firsthand from our work with partners around the world the positive ripple effect that supporting youth in this way has on local communities,” said Lata Reddy, SVP of Diversity, Inclusion and Impact; and chair and president of The Prudential Foundation. “Integrating this population into the workforce will drive revenue growth for businesses and the global economy. With the right skills and training, opportunity youth can be both an engine of growth and a catalyst for positive social change.”
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Prudential has a long history of investing in opportunity youth, committing more than $50 million in impact investments and philanthropic support to partner organizations over the last two decades. One example of this is the company’s initiative with its real estate investment arm, PGIM Real Estate — one of the largest real estate investment managers in the world — and the work with its longtime partner, YouthBuild, which focuses on helping low-income young people acquire the skills needed for construction jobs.
“In our journey to help youth rebuild their lives and their communities, the partnership with Prudential has been instrumental to our success. This investment is further proof of the company’s commitment to supporting the next generation of workers and young leaders around the world who come from all walks of life,” said Tim Cross, president of YouthBuild International.
YouthBuild has had a meaningful impact in the communities where it operates, with 75 percent of the program’s students obtaining a high school degree or its equivalent, or industry-recognized credentials.
More recently, Prudential has invested in talent development platforms that bridge the education to employment gap by providing training in high-demand skills where employers face persistent and pervasive talent shortages. An example of the work is the partnership with Andela — a New York-based startup that Prudential is helping to develop a talent pipeline of African software developers.
“We are connecting talent with opportunity on a global scale, while also building and sustaining a pan-African elite tech workforce,” said Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Andela. “Prudential’s commitment is going to enable us to reach more software engineers from across the continent, who are poised to become tomorrow’s global tech leaders. We’re looking forward to what we can do together.”
The startup’s talent pipeline is supported by a data-driven, automated hiring and training system. The company currently operates four training centers in Africa and has scaled to over 1,000 developers.
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