With conversations continuing to revolve around the importance of equity, education, and race, Rocket Mortgage and Black-founded HomeFree-USA recently announced an expansion of their continued partnership, which will continue financial education and career preparation through HomeFree-USA’s flagship education initiative, The Center for Financial Advancement (CFA), at six historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), according to a press release.
Through the partnership Rocket Mortgage is creating a pipeline to bring diverse new talent to Rocket Mortgage and its Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT) affiliates.
Initially partnering in 2018 on CFA, the organizations work lockstep to offer tools and opportunities to potential homebuyers to close the Black homeownership loop, join forces on many financial information programs, and provide educational programming and activities to HBCUs. The partnership reaches beyond those goals this year by investing in career preparation that will allow HBCU students to access fields where they are typically underrepresented, the press release added.
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core tenets of our culture – existing beyond the lens of homeownership by informing everything we do and every space our organization touches,” said Trina Scott, chief diversity officer for Rocket Companies. “This expanded partnership will provide Black and other students of color with financial education programming and training, as well as allow them to access meaningful opportunities to join our organization in whatever role best suits their talents and skill sets.”
HomeFree-USA created CFA after a 2016 study that says although more Black Americans than ever are going to college, this group of students are still overrepresented in majors that result in the lowest-paying jobs. To solve this, CFA was founded to introduce HBCU students to the mortgage and real estate finance industry as a career opportunity and level up their money management skills, while teaching them about homeownership, credit, and building wealth, according to the release.
The initiative was piloted in 2017 at Fisk University and continues at North Carolina A&T State University, Fort Valley State University, Bowie State University, North Carolina Central University, and Morgan State University. Fisk University, North Carolina Central University, Morgan State University, and North Carolina A&T State University were all scored by “U.S. News & World Report” as top-20 HBCUs in the United States, the release added.
“Partnering with companies like Rocket Mortgage allows us to continue this important work of diversifying talent in corporate America while providing much needed financial literacy to our students at historically Black colleges and universities,” said Marcia Griffin, president, and CEO of HomeFree-USA and an alumna of two HBCUs. “Very few mortgage and real estate finance corporations and financial institutions have internship programs that aggressively recruit directly from HBCUs. This must change. Students at historically Black colleges and universities are among the best America has to offer.”
Rocket Mortgage and HomeFree-USA will use the CFA Scholars program to bring diverse talent to Rocket Companies. Students will be able to attend events at Rocket Mortgage’s campus in Detroit specifically for CFA Scholars, meet with talent recruiters on their campus, participate in conferences and summits with Rocket Companies executives, and more, the release added.
Also, intending to increase the hiring of Detroit residents, this expanded partnership allows Rocket Companies’ to attract diverse talent to the city while still addressing its ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Rocket Companies will hire 10% of its future interns from HBCUs, to bring as many of the interns on as full-time team members.
“We are appreciative of the invaluable opportunities the Center for Financial Advancement® has delivered to our campus community, providing our students with resources and key insights to enhance their academic and career pursuits,” David K. Wilson, President of Morgan State.
In 2020, Rocket Companies and the greater Rock Family of Companies announced its “6 Point Plan,” a blueprint to address diversity, equity, and inclusion at the organization. Since then, the organization has leveraged its For More Than Profit philosophy and culture to impact the outcome on race, equity, and inclusion in six specific areas, including talent recruitment.
The two organizations are underway planning to bring the CFA initiative to additional campuses for the 2021 – 2022 academic year. The financial terms of the partnership were not released.
For more information and company news visit QuickenLoans.com/press-room.
For more information, visit homefreeusa.org/cfa.