Two types of programs
Professional Development Programs
The IRON Professional Development Program covers two focal areas: Career Mobility and Professional Relationship Building Career Mobility - structured activities designed to give participants the tools necessary to seek and request promotions and career growth. Professional Relationship Building - structured activities designed to give participants resources for building and fostering mentoring relationships within their careers. May also provide those that are looking to volunteer to serve as mentors for young professionals.
Across the country, the African American professional has a mixed story of progress and struggle. More than a quarter of employed black workers aged 25 or older have earned a college degree, a share that exceeds that for Hispanics but continues to trail that for Whites. While black workers continue to trail Whites in educational attainment, the number of African Americans with a college degree has been growing faster. In the past decade, the number of black workers with a college degree has increased by over a quarter, compared to that among White workers.
By 2025 Millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce — U.S. Census Bureau
Between 2015 - 2017 there have been over 70,000 Blacks that have relocated to Dallas from outside of Texas — IRON Migration Analysis
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has..”
— Margaret Mead
Personal Development Programs
Soft Skills are increasingly important in today’s war for talent. Employers are choosing employees who have more of a job-person fit than hard skills.
42.5% of recent graduates were underemployed as of March 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This shows there is a disconnect that could be influencing the skills gap in different ways, for example, an outdated view of manufacturing jobs. $160 billion. This is the amount that researchers from the Center for Economic Research calculated to be the total cost of the skills gap to US companies per year.
60% of U.S. employers have job openings that stay vacant for 12 weeks or longer. This came from a survey conducted by Career Builder in which HR managers say the impact of having job vacancies for 12 weeks is $800,000 or more annually.
81% of employers say prospective employees lack critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills. Also, 75% think graduates lack adequate innovation and diversity skills (PSI, assessment firm).
Financial Competency is a key focal area for IRON because of the role that African American millennials play in impacting the wealth gap that exists in the African American community.
Although black Americans have an annual spending power of $1.2 trilion, their households only held a median of $11,000 of wealth in 2013, according to federal data.
By 2053, the median wealth for black families will fall to zero if the wealth gap continues to widen at its current pace.
39% of Dallas residents lack three months’ worth of savings needed to avoid financial crisis in case of a layoff, a reduction of income, or other emergency (United Way of Dallas)
55% of Dallas residents have annual income levels less than $50,000 (Dallas Morning News 2016)
27% of black bachelor’s degree holders had more than $30,500 in loans. These African Americans also have higher rates of unemployment, impacting their repayment power (U.S. News & World Report, 2013)