Skills First

Diversifying the talent pipeline


During my co-op on the Economic Growth team at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, I managed the pilot launch of the Skills First Internships (formerly Talentsetters) program. This initiative uses a skills-based, identity-blind hiring platform to provide more equitable access to quality internships in Boston for college students of color and students from non-traditional backgrounds. For the pilot, our corporate partners were asked to use this new hiring platform concurrently with their existing hiring processes to expand their talent pipelines.

Through Skills First, the Chamber aims to encourage organizations to rethink hiring strategies and lead in the creation of a diverse workforce that is more reflective of our region.

I managed communications with our technology provider, Skillist, 7 corporate partners, and dozens of college access & success organizations and college career services offices. I conducted outreach to student organizations in the region and across the country, leading to 189 applications submitted and 5 interns hired through the program. Due to the success of the pilot, the initiative received $85K in grant funding from JPMorgan Chase Foundation for the following year.


Applications submitted
through Skillist platform


Interns hired
through the program


Grant funding secured
for 2020 launch