Web program to help companies connect with minority candidates

    Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:40 pm

    The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, based in New York, plans to launch training and recruiting programs in

    Milwaukee in 2007 in an attempt to increase diversity in the Milwaukee area business community.

    The scholarship fund also implemented TalentPen, a Web-based recruiting product developed by Pleasant Prairie-based eBullpen LLC. The training and development program will address the necessity of having a more diverse local workforce, said Dwayne Ashley, president and chief executive officer of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.

    “There is a talent drain in Milwauke,e and we look to develop talent,” Ashley said. “The program is designed to capitalize on the uniqueness of the niche of public historically black colleges.”

    About 228,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students attend classes at 47 historically black colleges in 22 states. There are no historically black colleges in Wisconsin.

    The development program in Milwaukee will utilize the Milwaukee office of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund to speak to students in area high schools about the fund and the historically black colleges and to serve its local corporate members by helping to recruit talent to Milwaukee businesses.

    “Our first priority focuses on students in Milwaukee and our second priority is to attract graduates who are interested in the Milwaukee area and to support their move to the Milwaukee community,” Ashley said.

    The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund matches recent graduates and alumni from the historically black colleges, regardless of whether the students received scholarship money from the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, with its long list of corporate members, Ashley said.

    Representatives from the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund interview each candidate.

    “Companies all over the country struggle with diversity,” Ashley said. “A lot of it has to do with understanding the company culture when attaining and retaining candidates.”

    Students and alumni can attend an annual four-day Leadership Institute Recruitment Conference in New York to become better trained for success in a corporate environment and meet and interview with corporate members, Ashley said.

    During the Leadership Institute, students learn how to create a resume, how to dress for success in business, dining etiquette, how to apply for jobs and how to maintain a work/life balance.

    Corporate members and partners for the project in Wisconsin include Milwaukee-based Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Madison-based American Family Insurance and Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc.

    “A young person may not want the strict corporate environment, but maybe the person wants to work in a creative environment,” Ashley said. “We make sure companies find the right candidate in the selection process.”

    Once a candidate has attended the Leadership Institute and demonstrated proven leadership abilities, the candidate can post on the job section of the program’s Web site, www.ThurgoodMarshallFund.org.

    The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund implemented TalentPen on its Web site to match candidates with company requirements and similarities.

    “TalentPen is a phenomenal program that allows companies and organizations to more efficiently screen (job candidates),” Ashley said. “The system sorts our data in a better, more efficient way and ranks candidates.”

    Talent Pen allows corporate users to narrow the field and identify potential candidates, according to Susan Govea, partner and vice president of marketing for eBullpen.

    “Our goal is to empower young men and women who attend the member colleges with leadership opportunities and to increase the (job) pipeline when students graduate,” Ashley said. “In the end, it is a transaction. Students want meaningful employment (when they graduate), and we make sure that transaction takes place.”

    Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

    Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

    No posts to display