OneTen's CEO, Dyson

CEO Debbie Dyson Creates Job Opportunities For Black People Without Four-Year College Degrees

OneTen has set an ambitious goal of finding one million jobs for Black people seeking employment without a four-year bachelor’s degree. 

CEO Debbie Dyson will head the initiative for the nonprofit organization to find sustainable employment opportunities that will allow Black talent to earn salaries to support their families adequately. Dyson has come out of retirement and will use her 30 years of experience as a corporate executive to head OneTen. 

According to Essence, OneTen was established in 2020, during the social injustices that disparagingly affected Black communities and loomed over the United States. Tragic events, such as the brutal moments leading to George Floyd’s demise, marked the beginning of the nonprofit organization.

Dyson told the outlet, “And so you had a group of CEOs, starting with Ken Frazier, Charles Phillips, and Ken Chenault, that wanted to do something. And so they corralled initially about 30 to 40 CEOs and said, ‘What can we do?'”

“They decided to do something to try to close the ‘opportunity gap’ that seemed to be plaguing, disproportionately, the Black population,” she continued. 

In addition to closing the opportunity gap, Dyson told the outlet, the goal is to focus on equipping Black talent with the necessary skills required to perform a job rather than obtaining a degree. “So this is not just minimum wage, but to ensure that whatever the dynamics are in the composition of your family that you’re able to afford, obviously the basic necessities: Healthcare, etc., opposed to trying to get a degree it’s like ‘What are the skills required for the job,'” Dyson said. 

OneTen is helping companies identify job seekers’ talent and skill sets instead of using traditional standards to employ people.

In the three years OneTen has operated, the organization has helped secure about 88,000 jobs for Black people. Additionally, 70 companies and counting have committed to OneTen’s vision and have joined its coalition.