Today President Obama announced that AT&T is among the first companies who have signed on to the White House’s First Job Compact, a nationwide effort to help connect out-of-school, out-of-work youth to their first jobs.

“We’re proud to be a founding member of the First Job Compact,” said Charlene Lake, senior vice president–Corporate Social Responsibility and chief sustainability officer. “It’s critical we invest in young people so that we ensure a diverse and talented pipeline for the future workforce. That’s why we have invested more than $350 million since 2008 in our signature education initiative, AT&T Aspire, which focuses on equipping students of all ages - no matter their background - with the skills to succeed in school and beyond. Our employees are invested in this cause as well, providing students across America with more than 1 million hours of valuable mentoring.”

“We know that many qualified candidates – especially young people -- experience barriers to entry in the employment process,” said Bill Blase, senior executive vice president-Human Resources. “That’s why we’ve also invested in our application and assessment processes to help reduce those barriers. We’ve removed the requirement for a resume, for example, and have provided alternatives to requiring years of experience. We also provide various aids for applicants, including test guides, job coaches, and educational opportunities to train up for a particular role. Essentially, we’ve made information available to demystify the process and prepare candidates for successful entry into the workplace.”