Rocket Mortgage and Black-founded HomeFree-USA have expanded their ongoing 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).
Through this partnership Rocket Mortgage is developing a pipeline to bring diverse new talent to Rocket Mortgage and its Rocket Companies affiliates.
First partnering in 2018 on CFA, the organizations work together to provide tools and opportunities to prospective homebuyers to bridge the Black homeownership gap, collaborate on numerous financial information programs, and offer educational initiatives to HBCUs. The partnership expands beyond those goals for 2021 by investing in career preparation that will allow HBCU students to access fields where they are traditionally underrepresented.
“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 skillsets.”
HomeFree-USA launched CFA on the heels of a 2016 study that says although more African-Americans than ever are going to college, Black students are still overrepresented in majors that result in the lowest paying jobs. CFA was founded to introduce HBCU students to the mortgage and real estate finance industry as a career opportunity and elevate their money management skills, while teaching them about homeownership, credit and building wealth.
Sponsoring partners engage the students, faculty, parents and the local community at large on such topics as credit, student loans, savings, homeownership and opportunities in the mortgage finance profession. CFA educates and prepares young adults financially, professionally and personally for a sound future.
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.
“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 leverage the CFA Scholars program to bring diverse talent to Rocket Companies. Equipped with career, leadership, financial and life-skills training, 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.
In addition to efforts to increase the hiring of Detroit residents, this expanded partnership allows Rocket Companies to attract diverse talent to Detroit as it continues to holistically address its ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Rocket Companies will hire 10% of its future interns from HBCUs, with the goal of bringing as many of the interns on as full-time team members as possible.
In 2020, Rocket Companies and the greater Rock Family of Companies announced its “6 Point Plan,” a blueprint to address DEI on 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 already planning to bring the CFA initiative to additional campuses for the 2021–2022 academic year. Financial terms of the of the partnership were not disclosed.