Approach

Merit America

We provided the first funding to Merit America, which provides a path to skilled careers for those without bachelor’s degrees. The initiative offers deeper learning for underrepresented minorities and low- and moderate-income students through employer-aligned programming that includes mentoring and other support services. Merit America now partners with top employers to identify in-demand jobs for which they are struggling to hire qualified workers, and to understand the specific skills needed, and to secure priority hiring commitments for their graduates. Merit America builds education programs backward from employers’ skill needs and co-locates in regions where jobs are available.

Since its launch in 2018, Merit America:

  • Served its 500th learner – 95% without a four-year college degree and 79% minorities – with 83% of learners earning industry-recognized credentials in 2-5 months
  • Moved its programming fully online and launched its first nationwide cohort with learners from over one dozen states
  • Secured and grew employer partnerships with Google, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, Infosys, and Better
  • Built a 31-person team with wide-ranging expertise, the majority of whom are underrepresented minorities and first-generation college goers
  • Drove millions of dollars in near-term wage gains, with an average annual wage gain for graduates in new roles of $23,000, from an average annual pre-program salary of $26,000 – an 88% increase, not including the value of benefits and long-term advancement opportunities

Merit America | Back to Catalytic Giving