Our goal is to cultivate the next generation of corporate leaders and provide young people from urban areas with exposure to opportunities they may not know exist.
Access and experience is the name of the game when it comes to professional advancement, and we want to be at the center of that for young people whose circumstances may prevent them from dreaming big. Supporting our youth should be a key component of corporate outreach at all companies, but supporting our diverse communities in Philadelphia is even more critical. Here's why:
* African-Americans represent 45 percent of the population in Philadelphia, according to 2005 Census Bureau data.
* Philadelphia has the second- largest Hispanic population and market in the Northeast after New York, according to the same data. That's also the fastest-growing portion of the population in Philadelphia, increasing over 40 percent in the last decade.
Major strides have been made in diversity hiring, but our business community can and should do more. Corporations have the resources to be at the forefront of this charge - not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it is a reflection of the customer and supplier bases we serve and are served by.
As one of Philadelphia's largest private-sector employers and the nation's leading cable service provider, Comcast understands the importance of reflecting diversity in the workforce and is always striving to affect multi-cultural communities by supporting national organizations like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, the National Urban League, National Council of La Raza and the Emma Bowen Foundation, as well as local groups like the Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Congreso de Latinos Unidos in their efforts to inspire opportunity for young people at every turn.
WE HAVE A responsibility to do more, and one way is to provide opportunities and influence students who are on the road to achievement, so they are inspired to give back to their younger family members and communities tomorrow.
At yesterday's Comcast Multi-Cultural Intern Day, students had the opportunity to learn about our business strategies, hiring practices and diversity initiatives. Through our internships, students have a chance to experience the demands and challenges of corporate America and maximize their understanding of what it takes to succeed.
And while students will reap the benefits of exposure, the result is a win-win for everyone.
Comcast and our region benefit because a new generation of leaders who bring diversity in thoughts, philosophies and experience will be in a better position to lead creative thinking and change at major corporations that provide services affecting all of our lives.
Comcast is a major local employer and a member of the community, and we are in a unique position to encourage and motivate progress. We take this responsibility seriously and were proud to support Multi-Cultural Intern Day. *
Charisse Lillie is senior vice president for human resources at Comcast Cable.