Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. has committed $50 million to UNCF to launch the Career Pathways Initiative. The organizations say the funding will support grants to historically black colleges and universities to help students gain career skills and experience.
UNCF says the gift is the second-largest in its history. The program is designed to help address unemployment, which the organization says has become a crisis for young minority adults since 2009. It says, as recently as 2013, the unemployment rate for recent African American college graduates topped 12 percent, which is more than twice the rate of white students.
The UNCF says, during the seven-year grant period, the Career Pathways Initiative will strive for at least a 15 percent increase in employment rates of graduates of historically black colleges and universities and predominantly black institutions.