Delta Air Lines is working to create meaningful career opportunities for young adults who are at risk or have faced injustice under a new partnership with Unlock Potential, a program that helps to drive economic and social mobility for young people currently disconnected from education or employment.
“We know that having a diverse workforce builds a better and more innovative business,” said Keyra Lynn Johnson, Delta’s V.P. and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. “This partnership builds a bridge to individuals who often don’t have connection and opportunities to careers at Delta, while at the same time broadening our access to untapped talent.”
The program focuses on young people who have experienced one or more of the following:
An incarcerated parent
Human trafficking or sexual exploitation
The juvenile justice system
The foster care system
This partnership elevates Delta's "skills-first" talent acquisition mindset, which focuses on a candidate's capabilities, competencies and relevant experiences. This initiative dovetails with Delta’s announcement last year that it is removing unnecessary barriers to hiring, including college degrees. Last year, 94% of Delta's non-executive job openings did not require a college degree. This change helped to improve the diversity of frontline employees and furthers Delta’s goal of boldly pursuing equity.
The Unlock Potential partnership joins other Delta initiatives including its ongoing support of Wellspring Living, which provides transformative care and specialized recovery services for survivors of sexual exploitation including therapy, education, life skills training and personal and professional development.
During the Unlock Potential program, participants will have the opportunity to interview for entry-level jobs while being supported with professional development tools. The first 12 months of the program will track and measure the participants’ success. The hiring initiative will include mentoring, targeted development and other business support to help members grow and mature in their new roles.
Unlock Potential focuses on the 4.4 million Americans identified as "opportunity youth" - individuals who are disproportionately Black, Indigenous or people of color aged 16 to 24, who are not employed or enrolled in school and are at a higher risk of poverty or imprisonment.
About Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At Delta, we are committed to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as part of our work to connect and reflect the world. Delta drives meaningful impact by actively seeking diversity, boldly pursuing equity and consciously promoting inclusion while holding ourselves accountable to these goals.
In 2020, Delta made a commitment to become an anti-discrimination, anti-racist organization. The company periodically updates progress toward its multi-layered goals through racial equity progress reports. Additionally, Delta has placed a focus on closing diversity gaps within its workforce: setting goals for the diversity of our frontline to be proportionally reflected in their leaders.
Delta's senior cross-divisional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, made up of nearly 30 executive leaders, ensures these goals are embedded throughout the organization by evaluating corporate and divisional metrics, programs and proposals. Ten Business Resource Groups with over 24,000 actively engaged employees to ensure that diverse perspectives are brought to the table, serving as strategists and thought leaders on business issues.
As a "Best Workplace for Diversity," Delta has been recognized as a "Best Workplace for Women" by Great Place to Work and Fortune for three years in a row, "Top-Rated Workplaces for Veterans" by Indeed, and "Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion," receiving a top score of 100 percent on the 2018 Disability Equality Index (DEI).