What We See

What it really means to be one of 29,000 disconnected youth in Charlotte today who are neither working nor in school.

What lies ahead for you if you're one of the 1,700 9th graders in Charlotte schools who won't make it across the graduation stage.

The decisions students face when the cost of college has increased almost eight times faster than wages since 1989.

A 2015 study revealed Charlotte as the most unlikely city in America for someone to make their way out of poverty.

You can call that lack of economic mobility, the wage gap, or inequality.

We call it a mandate for schools and employers to work together to create futures for its youth.

Road to Hire sees our schools fighting to gain ground and create a more equitable Charlotte every day, but they can't do it alone.

Building a Solution

Golden Door Scholars Is Born

First was the launch of 'Golden Door Scholars,' a scholarship and career readiness program for DACA-mented and underrepresented high-performing students. We soon realized, however, that the need was much greater than high school seniors.

Road to Hire Is Born

In 2014, Road to Hire was born. Our fellowships program connected unemployed and underemployed youth with an alternative to crippling college debt. Since then, we have seen the power of employers providing technical, applicable, paid training for the students who need it most.

Employers Should Meet Hard Work with Opportunity

We became convinced that inviting hard-working youth on to employer campuses, investing in them with talent and expertise, and guiding them towards the jobs they're ready for is a winning equation.

Through Red Ventures’ early work with Road to Hire and Golden Door Scholars, hundreds of hard-working students have found stable careers and financial stability. That means hundreds of young adults bought reliable transportation for the first time, purchased homes of their own, offered support to their families and became peer leaders who've earned the influence to transform our communities.

Getting in the game earlier

While we’ve learned and proven that our programs work, we know that we must reach more students, and reach them earlier.

In 2016 we began partnering with underserved schools to do just that. Road to Hire launched several programs offering help where kids need it most – in middle schools, where we can get to kids before they give up; and in high schools, where young adults are ready for technical training.

This work is transformative, and it is needed at a much larger scale.

We believe it is the responsibility of employers to do what they can to make Charlotte a more equitable community and to create opportunities for those who are being overlooked and underserved.

We have expanded our coalition beyond Red Ventures and now partner with employers including Bank of America, Novant Health, Atrium Health, Lowe's and AvidXchange, but that list must grow.

The number of pathways into stable, high-paying jobs must increase.

Charlotte's youth are the best authors of Charlotte's future. Together, as we move forward, our efforts must be unrelenting.