Employer Network

The SkillUp Coalition Employer Network is a community of learning and action that helps forge connections between quality employers and opportunity talent.

Interested in partnering with us?

Our History

The Hire Opportunity Coalition (HOC) was created in 2015 by Starbucks and the Schultz Family Foundation, which was co-founded by Sheri Schultz and Starbucks chief executive officer Howard Schultz. Previously known as both the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative and HOC, the network quickly grew to include top American companies such as Amazon, CVS Health, Hyatt, and Verizon – and today it encompasses more than 70 HR, DE&I and CSR leaders across nearly 30 national employers.  The coalition was a pioneering employer-led effort and member companies have collectively hired more than 200,000 opportunity youth (16-24-year-olds who are out of school and unemployed). 

Now under the banner of the SkillUp Coalition, our Employer Network will help member companies hire more diverse early career and developing talent, learn how to become more worker-centric employers, plus amplify their efforts to create more equitable opportunities.


Our Vision

As an employer action community that helps young people and others facing structural barriers to employment achieve high opportunity careers, the Employer Network shares SkillUp’s mission. Both aim to provide a guided and supported path to ensure every worker has high opportunity employment.

The SkillUp Coalition Employer Network does so by working closely with employers and helping them to connect, share and amplify.



The SkillUp Coalition, a national collaboration of nonprofits, training providers and employers, recently announced the Hire Opportunity Coalition (HOC) will merge wth SkillUp. The union will enable SkillUp to build deeper relationships with a wide array of leading American employers, thereby providing a guided and supported career path to more workers.

“By combining the Hire Opportunity Coalition with SkillUp, we believe we can have an even bigger impact on improving worker mobility,” says Marie Groark, Director of Programs for the Schultz Family Foundation.

“Together, SkillUp and HOC will help America’s biggest employers tap into a diverse pool of talent while providing young job seekers greater opportunities to develop new skills and pursue new career paths.”


Our Work

Connecting Employers & Opportunity Talent

The SkillUp Coalition Employer Network supports members by:


    • Building community with like-minded employers through member gatherings
    • Monthly virtual calls spotlighting high-performing orgs and thought leaders
    • Bi-annual SkillUp Impact Lab event
    • Access to respected, industry-leading workforce development convenings


    • Earn and Learn job recruitment support through national lead generation
    • Elevate brand through SkillUp Coalition site, events and press outreach
    • New and improved hiring and marketing events, including the next iteration of National Youth Hiring Day


    • Direct insights/original market research on how job seekers perceive an employer’s recruitment and hiring efforts, via SkillUp’s relationships with thousands of frontline workers nationwide
    • Curated collection of topical research, data and evidence on the SkillUp blog
    • Best practice exchanges

“SkillUp’s commitment goes beyond simply providing resources; we aim to further connect the infrastructure of the workforce development ecosystem and drive change in employer hiring and retention strategies.

We feel privileged to continue building relationships with so many companies that have long been committed to empowering diverse, opportunity talent and we’re eager to support their efforts to help these job seekers get hired, grow and thrive in their careers.”

Elissa Salas

Vice President, Partnerships & Operations, SkillUp Coalition

Employer Network Members

The SkillUp Coalition Employer Network includes a wide array of leading employers committed to empowering opportunity talent.

Select employers also participate as “Earn & Learn” partners providing the skills employees need to be successful, while supporting career advancement.


“Go for what you want…there are so many things going on in life that you kind of just want to grasp it all.”

Christine Personal Trainer to Welder

“I would have never pictured myself doing what I do now, and I’m extremely proud of myself.”

D'Andra Cashier to Machinist

“I learned a lot. It wasn’t just the skill of manufacturing, it was the skill of having the confidence to go out and get a job.”

Interested in partnering with us?

Join the Movement

We welcome additional partners that share our desire to connect quality employers and opportunity talent. Please get in touch by completing the contact request form here.

A member of our team will reach out within 48 business hours.