- Verizon will prepare 500,000 individuals for jobs of the future through skills training and mentorship by 2030, it announced July 14.
- The move part of a broader initiative, Citizen Verizon, a set of targets in support of "business, environmental and social advancement." The initiative contains specific plans for addressing digital inclusion, climate protection and prosperity.
- The training and mentoring will support "the most vulnerable and under-resourced communities for the jobs of the future," it said. The company didn't share specific plans for accomplishing that goal, but invited Verizon employees to volunteer their time and skills.
Verizon is one of several major employers working to close digital skills gaps. Such gaps were a developing challenge and a looming potential crisis even before the pandemic, which now threatens to worsen the issue.
Some, like Verizon, are providing development opportunities for employees and underserved communities; these include Amazon's recent partnership with a training nonprofit and Microsoft's global skills initiative that aims to help 23 million job seekers worldwide acquire skills for in-demand roles.
Corporate social responsibility efforts like these can create a pipeline of skilled, loyal talent for the future, sources previously told HR Dive, but they also have the potential to drive engagement with current employees. A 2018 MetLife survey concluded that workers want more social responsibility from their employers. Seventy percent of respondents said their companies should address societal problems, up from 63% the year before. And just over half (52%) expect their employer to solve problems, up from 41%.