Implementing Diversity from the Top

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Chief diversity officers (CDOs) from internationally-recognized brands in tech shared their best practices during CES® – the world’s largest and most influential tech event – for integrating diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives creating innovative cultures which have resulted in positive changes across their respective organizations.

One of industry’s new innovative initiatives cited included HP’s partnership with the National HBCU Business Deans RoundtableLesley Slaton Brown, Chief Diversity Officer for HP, shared with this year’s audience that HP’s business-case competition is one way her teams are “investing in students who are ready to step up and reinvent not only the business landscape, but mindsets as well.”

For over two decades HP has actively participated in National BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) during BDPACon, National BDPA’s annual technology conferences and career expos, as a Platinum Sponsor and mission partner providing PCs, monitors, and equipment for National BDPA’s annual coding competitions.

High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Programs

Above, High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Junior Developers (Jr. Devs) and finalists from National BDPA’s Southern Minnesota Chapter from Rochester, MN.

Carmalita Yeizman, North American Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at Bosch shared with her audience how Bosch balances employee resource group (ERG) participation among junior developers with community STEM programs such as First Robotics. As a Strategic Partner, Bosch has an opportunity to utilize its industry experience to offer insights for FIRST programs. In Detroit, MI and other cities, Bosch continues to provide funding, equipment, volunteers and more to enhance the reach and overall impact of FIRST.


Above (L-R), Ms. Carmalita Yeizman, North American Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at Bosch interviews with Mr. Maynard Okereke of Hip Hop Science in Los Angeles, CA. Ms. Yeizman shares how Bosch balances employee resource group (ERG) participation with community STEM programs such as FIRST Robotics.

National BDPA members onsite this year during CES® shared with Bosch that National BDPA’s Detroit Chapter is National BDPA’s Chapter of the Year for 2019. BDPA Detroit remains very excited about new collaboration efforts to align student programs  in direct support of inclusive initiatives. Industry needs a very strong workforce to “drive” more innovation into robotics, autonomous vehicles (AVs), and electric vehicles (EVs) across automotive sector OEMs and their supply chains.

ces2020j-ben-hasan-walmart-btAt Walmart, Ben Hasan, Senior Vice President and Chief Global Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, cites having and maintaining an outstanding relationship with corporate executives which at times include very candid diversity and inclusion conversations with recommendations. Mr. Hasan stated diversity and inclusion has pivoted from a compliance approach towards more social science and neuroscience approaches at Walmart. Similar to ERGs, Walmart operates nine associate resource groups (ARGs) in support of their diversity and inclusion mission sets.  This shift to operations, as an integral part of Walmart’s business units, affords ARGs inclusive educational curricula with opportunities to enhance both internal and external customer experiences.

Mr. Hasan is no stranger to BDPA.   During National BDPA’s Technology Conference and Career Expo in Raleigh, NC, he shared a breakfast with National BDPA’s HSCC finalists from the National Capital Region where he discussed his experiences in college and industry with Jr. Developer teams from BDPA-DC.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) just announced earlier this week during CES® that CTA will invest $10 million in venture firms and funds focused on women, people of color and other underrepresented startups and entrepreneurs.

“To continue to evolve and grow, the tech industry needs more equal access to venture funding,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Various research reports indicate diverse teams make better decisions and achieve greater profits. At CTA, this is one more tool we are deploying to help promote diversity in the technology industry.”

“The U.S. needs to invest in a diverse talent pool to capture great ideas and innovation and help birth more ‘unicorn’ companies,” said Tiffany Moore, senior vice president, political and industry affairs, CTA. “CTA is committed to this investment and will work with established funds and fund managers who focus on women, people of color and other underrepresented groups.”

Top cover photo (L-R) features Tiffany Moore, Senior Vice President, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), host and moderator; Carmalita Yeizman, North American Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at Bosch; Lesley Slaton Brown, Chief Diversity Officer for HP; and Ben Hasan, Senior Vice President and Chief Global Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Walmart, Inc.
— Photo © 2020 bdpatoday | Sources: CTA and BDPA, contributors Sarh Brown (CTA) and Perry Carter (BDPA).


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H.O.P.E. Project DMV inks Training and Consulting deal with Goodwill

Goodwill-sm-220x220WASHINGTON—The HOPE Project DMV has signed a consulting and training deal with Goodwill Industries International. Their first project launches later this month during BDPA-DC’s Innovate DMV week (#InnovateDMV17) where 20 Goodwill employees from nine U.S. cities will attend a two-day workshop at the HOPE Training Facility in the District of Columbia on building, maintaining, and growing IT career training programs for young adults.

The H.O.P.E. Project DMV (HOPE) is an information technology (IT) training program dedicated to providing technical training and development for young adults. Their renown IT training program is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions as Help-desk and Application Support Professionals. HOPE’s mission empowers young adults to reach their potential by providing a comprehensive information technology training program, designed for students ages 17-35. HOPE (“Helping Other People Excel“), offers these services in a very diverse and caring environment. HOPE helps many, one by one, through dynamic programming that is responsive to immediate needs of local communities and IT Industries. HOPE is committed to helping young adults regain hope by offering relevant career and IT training.


Above (L-R) Raymond Bell, Jr.; Dean Cook; Michael Smith; and David Reid will lead HOPE’s training and consulting teams with Goodwill Industries for local technology training engagements across the U.S.  HOPE’s training cadre captured 2016’s President’s Community and Technology Award with BDPA-DC for the National Capital region.
—BDPA-DC photo © 2016 by bdpatoday/Lynn Dunigan

In April, Goodwill Industries received a $16.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to provide critical job training and employment services through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) in 9 states. Twenty autonomous and community-based Goodwill® organizations across the United States will be helping older job seekers learn new job skills while training at public and nonprofit organizations in their communities such as housing agencies, food banks, libraries, schools, senior centers and child care centers. The goal is for the skills they learn in these programs to directly lead to employment in the private or public sector for which wages, or wages and tips, are paid that equal or exceed new federal hourly minimum wages.

Goodwill Industries International also received a $4 million TechHire grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) to train and place people in technology careers. Goodwill Industries through new and existing partnerships, will award certifications such as CompTIA A+, Security+, and Network+ certifications. They will also provide computer programmer training certifications for Microsoft Technology Associate and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer as well as computer language-specific certifications. Additionally, this grant  enables Goodwill® organizations to provide paid internships and registered apprenticeships.  The TechHire grant serves at least 700 individuals through the Goodwill Careers in Technology (CiT) program, which includes education and training partners like the Creating IT Futures Foundation (CompTIA’s philanthropic arm), online training provider MedCerts, and local workforce investment boards. The Goodwill CiT program will train individuals for career pathways in the information technology industry in two high-growth H-1B occupations: computer user support specialist and computer programmer.

National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter is providing additional information about these and other tech grants, new summits, and other cyber workforce related opportunities for BDPA Members and new BDPA Student Members during its tenth annual Regional Innovation Summit at Bowie State University on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

BDPA Members with CompTIA certifications (A+, Network+, Security+), Help Desk expertise (HDI, ITIL), or training experiences (Cisco, Microsoft, PMI) in a BDPA Chapter-City or near the following cities: Tyler (TX), Houston (TX), Austin (TX), Colorado Springs (CO), Baltimore (MD), San Jose (CA), Roanoke (VA), Grandville (MI) and Columbus (OH), are invited to contact BDPA or send resumes via email to: for additional details or requirements if not attending this year’s Regional Innovation Summit at Bowie State University.

— Cover photo: Goodwill Industries
Sources: DOLETA, HOPE Project DMV, and BDPA-DC

10th Annual Regional Innovation Summit

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H.O.P.E. DMV Alumnae Receive 2015’s President’s Awards

hope-37bMERCEDES SNYDER | President’s Award

Here is Mercedes’ Story

“When you’ve worked hard, and done well and walked through the doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it behind you. You reach back and you give folks the same chances that helped you succeed.

— Michelle Obama

Mercedes Snyder is a Help Desk Manager and has only been in the IT field since October of 2013. Mercedes was born in Washington, D.C. and had lived in DC majority of her life. At the age of 16 she moved to Texas with her mother. When Mercedes turned 20 she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy Jayden. Mercedes had worked for Walmart from 2007 to 2010. During this time, Mercedes was dealing with domestic violence at home and was constantly told she will never accomplish anything.

She decided to move back to Washington, D.C. to get out of that situation. Unfortunately, she had to leave her child in Texas because she could not afford to take care of him. As soon as Mercedes returned to the District, she took the first job she could get her hands on,” McDonalds”.

Working at McDonald’s she only made $7.80 per hour. With a promotion to a production manager she finally made $8.00 per hour.  At $8.00 per hour, Mercedes feared she may never be able to get her son back.

One day, Mercedes’ cousin Alyssia Suarez informed her of a program called the H.O.P.E. Project. She stated that the program helped her to make $45 K without a college degree and it was within the DMV area. Excited about this information, Mercedes attended the very next available H.O.P.E. Info-Session for this program.

After going through various stages of consideration such as a telephone interview, an essay, a face-to-face interview, and a test on a white page, Mercedes was finally selected for this opportunity, but initially was denied.

Not willing to give up, six months later Mercedes tried again when H.O.P.E. Project announced another class was about to begin. She was accepted into the program this time around! Within her first week she received a job working for HP, a BDPA Platinum Sponsor, supporting  Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) with a public trust Clearance.

Excited about this opportunity and how quickly things were changing, Mercedes knew that this way to get her son back and out of poverty. Being in the HOPE project took a lot of work having to study and research on a completely new field other than retail. The day before graduation she received an offer letter to work for Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).  Soon, Mercedes was able to get her son back soon after that.

While being in the IT field, Mercedes knew that she had to keep pushing because that was not enough money to get a place on her own. Six months later she received a new opportunity to support Defense Health Agency (DHA)  and within eight months of being at the help desk level she was promoted to Help Desk Shift Manager.

The HOPE project has taught Mercedes how to take control of her life as well as to give back to her community. Mercedes is active mentor for new H.O.P.E. Project students.  Mercedes is now able to provide for her son and so much more.  She doesn’t just have job, she has a career!

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people live.” 

— Michelle Obama



H.O.P.E. Project DMV Students Capture 2015 President’s Award

| President’s Award

Here is Alishia’s story

I was born and raised in Riggs Park in Northeast Washington, D.C. I graduated from McKinley Tech High School in 2007. I am the mother of a beautiful son who is autistic and inspires me every day to work even harder. Before the hope project I was working retail and at Giant Foods. I also had different summer jobs but nothing that was taking me anywhere.

After completing training with the H.O.P.E. Project, I don’t just have a job but a new career in IT. While in the H.O.P.E. Project I received my A+ Certification and got my first IT help desk job working for the FDA. This year I studied and received both my Network+ and Security+ certifications.

I also started a new job working at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Mid- Level Service Desk Analyst. I am currently studying for my System Security Certified Professional certification and plan on going back to school in January in hopes of soon transitioning into the cybersecurity side of IT.

Video ► H.O.P.E. Project’s Super Saturday vignette featuring ‘ Harvard of the Hood‘ and original H.O.P.E. themed rap song from Archie Bunka.

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