2020 Best Economic Opportunity and Empowerment Program


Accenture’s Impact Hiring program focuses on closing the gap between formal education and career opportunities by creating work-based experiences through internships, apprenticeships, and hiring for people that provide access to innovation economy jobs. Accenture delivers training, competitive wages, mentoring, and networking through its full-time Impact Hiring recruiting and operational teams, which coordinate placements across Accenture. Working with partners like AON, Accenture has created networks that expand participants’ opportunities and has shared its apprenticeship playbook with other employers. In 2019, the company brought on more than 200 apprentices, 203 interns, and 45 direct hires through nonprofit partners. As part of Impact Hiring, Accenture hosted interns from other companies whose opportunities ended due to the global pandemic and will serve 1,250 young adults in 2020.

Flagger Force Traffic Control Services, LLC


Flagger Force
© Flagger Force Traffic Control Services, LLC

Providing industry-leading temporary traffic control throughout the eastern United States, Flagger Force Traffic Control Services is an expert in workforce development. While companies nationwide struggle to fill thousands of jobs, more than four million people on probation or parole face bias or exclusion to employment opportunities. Nearly one-third of the U.S. working-age population has a criminal record. With in-demand services and a critical need to fill jobs, Flagger Force creates meaningful career opportunities for this underserved population. Since launching its workforce development program, second chance crew members make up 13% of Flagger Force’s employee base. A return to incarceration is often tied to the lack of a good job. Flagger Force’s workforce strategy has saved the company’s home state of Pennsylvania more than $7 million in incarceration costs over just two years. 

The PepsiCo Foundation & CARE


PepsiCo Foundation
© The PepsiCo Foundation

If women farmers, who make up nearly half of farm labor in developing countries, were empowered with the same resources as men, women could increase farm yields by up to 30% and 150 million people worldwide could face less hunger. The PepsiCo Foundation joined with CARE to launch “She Feeds the World,” a program tackling gender inequality in the agriculture sector. This program helps women obtain land rights, farming equipment, and marketplace access while providing financial and sustainable-agriculture training. PepsiCo’s investment with CARE aims to empower 5 million women farmers and their families in the developing world. Two years after launch, the program reached 191,500 women and families in Uganda, and 11,000 in Peru within the first year. Recently launched in Egypt, the program is addressing COVID-19-related food insecurity and creating access to farmer financing.