The Marcus Graham Project is a national network of diverse professionals that have purposed themselves in developing the next generation of thought leadership within the advertising, media and marketing industry. In 2016, The Marcus Graham Project, the 4As MAIP Program and the IAB Education Foundation committed to partnering to help build and deliver a $40 million comprehensive career readiness, job training, and job retention program. The program will be geared towards filling a percentage of the one million digital media, advertising, technology, data, operations, and e-commerce jobs that will be open by the year 2020, with qualified minority professionals who are widely underrepresented in the industry.
MGP will convene and partner with key stakeholders within the digital media and marketing industry ecosystem to help deliver a career readiness, job training/placement and retention programming reaching 20,000 high-school, entry-level, and mid-level candidates over the next five years to fill digital media, advertising, technology, data, operations, and e-commerce jobs. The Marcus Graham Project will deliver a collective impact model approach to make a deep impact on the talent gap and diversity crisis faced by the digital media and marketing industry.
MGP will deepen the existing relation with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As) Flagship Diversity and Talent program MAIP, with a 40 year track record of combining real-world work experience, training and development, and networking opportunities within the industry for over 120 professionals every year. MGP will also strategically partner with Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Education Foundations iDiverse initiative, whose goal is to grow the media and marketing capabilities of companies by developing a professional and diverse workforce that reflects the customer, through education, training, and certification Additionally, to this effort MGP is extending partnerships to include higher education through the Virginia Commonwealth Universitys Brandcenter, a renowned two-year Masters Program in marketing and advertising which has made a commitment to actively seek fellowship dollars to make money less of a barrier to higher education.
By convening to determine the best ways each organization can continue to partner in a deeper and more effective manner, the Marcus Graham Project and its partners will be able to gain efficiencies in how they approach the vastly changing industry together. The Marcus Graham Project and partners will identify best practices inside of:
- 4As initiatives including (Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP), MAIP Alumni Association, iAM High School and Training programs)
- Marcus Graham Project programs (iCR8 Summer Boot Camp, iCR8 Winter Boot Camp, Sports Marketing workshops, MGP Alumni Association and iCR8 Neighborhoods High School program)
- iABs Education Foundation iDiverse initiative and entry-level certification program
The Marcus Graham Project and partners will additionally find co-efficiencies between their existing corporate partners and board members to engage in fundraising, curriculum development and job placement.
To implement this commitment, the initial convening will take place in New York in July 2016 to develop a plan of action for how all organizations are able to work together to maximize the resources and best practices of each entity.
In the Fall of 2016 an awareness campaign of the effort amongst potential funding partners, as well as a recruiting campaign for the various programs offered.
Upon the kick off of the program, partners will convene via conference call each quarter to ensure that they are staying on track with their component of the partnership.
An estimated one million digital media, advertising, technology, data, operations, and e-commerce jobs need to be filled over the next five years, including entry-level, managerial, and highly skilled position and by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education and training, up from 28 percent in 1973. In addition to this, three disturbing trends are threatening the continued growth of the marketing, media, and advertising industry: an overall lack of gender, racial, cultural and economic diversity; a growing talent and skills gap; and a well-funded multiyear strategic plan of action involving all components of the industry ecosystem (education, community, trade associations and corporations) (IAB, 2013) (Georgetown Public Policy Institute). The Marcus Graham Project commits to upending these trends by partnering to help build and deliver a $40 million comprehensive career readiness, job training, and job retention program. The program will be geared towards filling a percentage of the one million digital media, advertising, technology, data, operations, and e-commerce jobs that will be open by the year 2020, with qualified minority professionals who are widely underrepresented in the industry.