Rocket Companies Inc. on Thursday pledged to hire 10% of its future interns from historically black colleges and universities in a partnership focused on financial education and career preparation.
The Detroit-based mortgage lender is investing to expand its work with HomeFree-USA, a nonprofit focused on promoting black home ownership. HomeFree-USA’s Center for Financial Advancement at six historically black colleges and universities includes career preparation in the mortgage and real estate industry in addition to financial education programs. This effort will help Rocket create a diverse pipeline of young talent.
“Very few mortgage and real estate finance companies and financial institutions have internship programs that aggressively recruit directly into HBCUs,” said Marcia Griffin, CEO of HomeFree-USA and alumnus of Fisk and Howard Universities. “This has to change.”
Details on the value of Rocket’s investment in the program were not disclosed. Students who are part of the CFA Scholars program will receive career, leadership, finance and life skills training and attend exclusive events at the Rocket campus in Detroit. The company will also send recruiters to campus and loan executives to attend conferences and summits.
Rocket did not immediately have information on the number of interns in the past from historically black colleges and universities. But that figure doesn’t eclipse the 10%, said Dan Ngoyi, vice president of talent acquisition for Rocket’s professional services firm, Rock Central.
The city’s largest employer, the parent of Quicken Loans, plans to hire at least 500 interns this year to join its workforce of 22,000 nationwide. At least 50 will come from schools like the ones where the CFA program operates.
After a pilot project in 2017 at Fisk University in Nashville, the initiative has expanded to North Carolina A&T State University, Fort Valley State University, Bowie State University, North Carolina Central University and Morgan State University. Others will be added for the 2021-2022 academic year.
“This expanded partnership will provide black students and other students of color with financial education programs and training,” said Trina Scott, Rocket’s director of diversity, in a statement, “and also allow them access to meaningful opportunities to join our organization in any role. best suits their talents and skills. “
The program is part of Rocket’s six point plan he posted last year after standing alongside other major Detroit employers promising to eliminate all forms of prejudice, racism, sexism and violence in their businesses and communities amid national protests against racism and injustice.