HBCU career service leaders and officials say recruitment of their graduates by major companies has skyrocketed since the death of George Floyd.
The nation and worldwide outrage after Floyd’s death combined with the call for racial equity last summer has pushed a bevy of Fortune 500 companies to do more, including increasing the number of Black Americans working on corporate boards and offices. Additionally, HBCU schools were flooded with millions in donations from MacKenzie Scott, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
HBCU administrators say it’s too soon to determine how many more Black college graduates and students are being hired by major companies, but they’ve seen a substantial rise in the number of internships and interviews they’re getting.
Seana Coulter, director of the center for career development at Morgan State University (MSU) told CNN the rise in interviews and internships is something she’s never seen before.
“In my 24-year career in higher education, all in career services, I cannot recall a time when recruitment efforts at HBCUs have been this high and have stayed this high.”
Coulter added MSU’s online job portal saw a 263% increase in employer logins between last July and June 30, 2021. One of the reason for the increase in HBCU recruitment is the labor shortage is forcing large companies to recruit outside their typical means.
Other HBCUs are also enjoying the rise in the recruitment of its students. At Howard University, career outreach from corporations including JP Morgan Chase, Procter & Gamble, Goldman Sachs and Google have increased by 100% over the last year according to Debbi Jarvis, Howard’s senior vice president of corporate relations.
Prairie View A&M University, located in Houston, has seen a 56% rise in the number of companies participating in its spring virtual career fair jumping from 122 in 2019 to 233 last year. According to Munir Quddus, the dean of the college of business, corporate outreach has increased from companies such as IBM and TD Ameritrade.
HBCU schools have also seen a significant rise in companies who want to partner with them for job and skills training as well as internship to career pathways.