Warner Robins – Spherion Staffing, in partnership with Central Georgia Technical College and community partners, announced the implementation of a new co-designed strategy to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
This change comes at the culmination of a months-long collaboration between Spherion Staffing, Central Georgia Technical College, and a group of young professionals in the central Georgia community.
Spherion Staffing has committed to creating a workplace environment that fosters equity, inclusion, and belonging, specifically for young workers of color.
“The commitment we are making today shows what can happen when employers take the time to listen to and learn from young workers,” said Michael Chalmers. “Attracting and retaining the next generation of diverse and talented workers requires nothing less.”
Spherion Staffing, CGTC, and young professionals, who acted and were paid as consultants throughout the project, co-created and co-designed the actions after a series of Action Roundtable conversations.
In May, the YES Project—Young, Employed, Successful—a national youth employment initiative led by America’s Promise Alliance, announced the CGTC Foundation as a community-level grantee to host Virtual Action Roundtable conversations in partnership with employers and young workers. Other participants include the Georgia Artisan and City of Milledgeville.
“We commend the Employer Partners for their willingness and commitment to make a difference in their community towards this invaluable cause, and also sincerely appreciate the APA team for their guidance and support throughout the project,” said Rolandria Tolbert, the YES Project Manager for Central Georgia Technical College.
The Action Roundtable conversations were rooted in the belief that the perspectives of young people of color can guide employers working to create inclusion and belonging for those communities in the workplace.
Young, early-career employees are often excluded from employers’ decision-making – this collaboration reversed that trend.
The Action Roundtable conversations included building collective knowledge of diversity and anti-racism; identification of the priority areas each employer wanted to address (e.g., hiring, retention, inclusion); and working together to identify and flesh out possible action steps to build a culture of inclusion and belonging, particularly for young employees of color.
Implementation of the Spherion Internship Initiative for students of color will begin in March of 2022. Spherion Staffing will continue to collaborate with Action Roundtable participants as they implement and refine these strategies.
Alondra Jordan is a high school senior at Houston County High School. During her immersive workplace experience, Alondra was placed with Spherion Staffing and continues to work there as a valued paid intern.
Jordan Tolbert is a high school senior and accomplished athlete at First Presbyterian Day School. He was featured in the Grads for Life video played during the opening session of the NYEC Annual Forum (https://vimeo.com/640133131/2f793919dd) and highlighted in the Youth Leader Spotlight of the America’s Promise Bulletin dated December 16, 2021.
Jarius Lowe graduated from CGTC’s Design and Media Production program in the fall of 2021. He has been an active REACH member for three years and continues to promote the student organization as an alumnus.
Derick Brayan, a non-native English speaker enrolled in CGTC’s Adult Education program, recently passed all portions of the GED exams in English and earned a high school equivalency diploma. Derick is now employed at Home Depot where he was given a leadership role for his reliability and customer service skills.
J’Lannie George is continuing his General Studies program at CGTC while also starting a new job he secured in November with the Aspen Paper Products warehouse.
Tekeyla Bond is continuing her Business Technology program at CGTC while also starting a new internship in January for the Pharmacy Tech program with the State of Georgia.