the challenge

There is a widening gap between vulnerable communities in need of access to career opportunities and businesses unable to find qualified talent. This is known as the opportunity-divide – a challenge layered with high youth unemployment, outdated workforce practices and social injustices. Closing the talent-divide is the greatest moral and economic obligation of our time.

Our MiSSion

LeadersUp bridges the divide between the untapped potential of young people and the business challenge of finding and keeping the best talent.

Our Work

We serve as a talent development accelerator working with employers, community based organizations and leaders in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area to create talent pipelines that connect young adults to career pathways and meet business entry to middle-skill hiring needs.

Our Origins

Established in 2013 by the Starbucks Coffee Company and launched by some if its leading U.S. suppliers, LeadersUp is a 501(c)(3) talent development intermediary that was founded with the belief that a network of employers intentionally cultivating, recruiting and retaining young adults can significantly impact the youth unemployment and opportunity-divide challenge.

Since our first employer pilot that connected SK Food Group with skilled and motivated young adults who helped launch its Columbus, Ohio facility; we have seen the scalable impact that can be achieved when business insights inform labor force strategies. This is what drives our commitment as an intermediary to partner with businesses, community organizations and young adults in developing solutions to bridge the divide


Learn how LeadersUp is creating solutions for Opportunity Youth, Employers, and Talent Development Partners to close the talent divide.


Meet the dynamic Board of Directors and Team at LeadersUp. Learn how each role contributes to our company’s mission to close the opportunity divide and solving the youth unemployment crisis.


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