Merck Joins IBM, American Express in Coalition to Hire 1 Million Black Workers In 10 Years

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Merck Chief Executive Officer Ken Frazier.

Merck, the pharmaceutical giant with significant operations in Montgomery County, has joined a coalition pledging $100 million to hire one million Black workers in the next decade, writes Jeff Green for Bloomberg.

The OneTen initiative is co-chaired by Merck Chief Executive Officer Ken Frazier and IBM Executive Chairman Ginni Rometty. It will focus on hiring and training Black workers who do not have four-year college degrees.

The aim is to provide jobs that can sustain a family with an average pay around $50,000 a year.

The founding board also includes former CEO of American Express Ken Chenault, chairman of the Black Economic Alliance Charles Phillips, and the former CEO of Amgen and former faculty member at Harvard Business School Kevin Sharer.

The goal is to get more companies to participate in the initiative, especially in the manufacturing industry, along with establishing more connections with nonprofit organizations.

The initiative also hopes to scale up the available training programs.

“We’re starting from a standing start, this is not where we want to end up,” said Frazier. “We think of it as a startup.”

OneTen will start working with employers next year and begin connecting them with recruiters in the second quarter.

Read more about the coalition at Bloomberg by clicking here.