Hundreds Receive On-the-Spot Job Offers at D.C. Opportunity Fair

In a single day, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™, the nation’s largest employer-led effort to hire opportunity youth, extended job offers to more than 1,000 youth at the D.C. job fair on Sept. 20

Since launching in 2015, the Initiative has hired more than 170,000 youth in communities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, Dallas, and most recently Washington, D.C.

Coalition to expand its hiring efforts to seventh community in Spring 2018 as it aims to hire 1 million Opportunity Youth across the nation by 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 27, 2017) – Marking an extraordinary day of action for D.C. area youth and employers, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ – the nation’s largest employer-led effort to hire young Americans ages 16-24 who face barriers to employment and education – hosted its 6th Opportunity Fair in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 20, helping create pathways for nearly 7,000 youth across the region. Working with more than 40 community-based organizations and 35 participating companies, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative delivered immediate impact by interviewing and extending more than 1,000 on-the-spot job offers at the fair. The ongoing effort expects to hire thousands more youth in the months ahead – fueling a national effort to hire at least one million Opportunity Youth by 2021.

Hiring managers from FedEx, Five Guys, HMSHost, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Safeway, Starbucks, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens, Walmart and more spent the day meeting with candidates. Attendees had an opportunity to practice their interview skills, and meet with hiring managers. Between interview sessions, the young adults also had the opportunity to receive assistance creating a LinkedIn profile, receive connections to local mentorship programs, legal resources, and immigration services. They also had an opportunity to participate in a “Find Your Fit” styling session by Nordstrom and Goodwill and learn how to tie a tie through the Macy’s Power Tie booth, and more.

Community organizations and civic leaders were on hand to encourage the young candidates including D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Department of Employment Services Director Odie Donald, Greater Washington Community Foundation, Opportunity Youth Network, Raise DC, the Latin American Youth Center, Goodwill of Greater Washington, Covenant House DC, My Brother’s Keeper DC, the DC ReEngagement Center, Serve DC, and many more. With support from the Schultz Family Foundation, these leaders and organizations will work through a centralized hub designed to connect job ready young people with coalition companies seeking young talent. The effort will build on existing opportunity youth hiring efforts and ensure the initiative is sustained across the region in the long run.

D.C. Opportunity Fair Results, By the Numbers:

  • 6,800 young adults registered for the fair (10 percent of the D.C. Opportunity Youth population; well exceeding the coalition’s original target of 1,500 participants)
  • More than 2,500 interviews were conducted.
  • Over 1,000 on-the-spot job offers were made
  • Hundreds of youth worked on their resumes and completed job applications
  • 1,000 volunteers and staff from coalition companies and community groups helped support young people during the day and to staff company booths and experiences
  • Over 800 youth practiced their interview skills with volunteer mentors
  • Thousands of attendees connected with organizations to reduce key barriers and get access to financial literacy, mentorship, housing assistance, food assistance, child care, healthcare, and transportation. This includes education and service organizations offering reconnection to high school, GED programs, community college, or university programs.

Young people who did not receive the job offer they were seeking will, after the fair, continue to be provided resources to further their job training and find the support they need to attain employment.

100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ to Host Next Job Fair in Spring 2018

Launched in August 2015, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ is now the largest employer-led coalition focused on hiring opportunity youth. Through a unique alliance of private, public and philanthropic organizations, the Initiative is working to change hiring, retention and advancement strategies. This initiative is also looking to create opportunities for employment, internships, and apprenticeships for young people facing systemic barriers to employment and education. In this way, the coalition is accelerating its national goal to hire one million opportunity youth by 2021, which it set after reaching its original goal of 100,000 hires two years ahead of schedule.

Nationally, youth unemployment still tops 12 percent, disproportionately impacting young people from low-income communities. Building on learnings from the coalition’s hiring fairs across the country, the Initiative is looking to expand both to major metropolitan areas like Atlanta, as well as smaller communities, wherever employment opportunities are needed. The coalition is looking to create galvanizing moments where corporate, non-profit, and municipal governments can come together to improve youth engagement and provide hope for the future. The key criteria the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative uses to select future sites is:

  • High concentration of Opportunity Youth,
  • Strength of Community Partners,
  • Presence of employers with hiring needs,
  • Strength and sustainability of follow-on program, and
  • Geographic and community diversity

“The results from our D.C. Opportunity Fair, and others like it in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Seattle, are proof that our efforts are providing real-life opportunities to thousands of young adults who receive job offers on the spot and in the coming months,” said Marie Davis, executive director for the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative.

About the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative™ has created the nation’s largest employer-led private sector coalition committed to creating pathways to employment for young people. Companies engaged in the coalition help launch careers for young people who are just entering the workforce, including full- and part-time work, as well as internships, apprenticeships and on-the-job training. Each company is also committed to developing potential in youth who have some work experience but are looking to gain new skills that lead to successful careers. Please visit