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New Southern Dallas Thrives Initiative to Address Workforce Readiness Needs for Underserved Women in Southern Dallas

DALLAS, March 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America today announced the Women's Workforce Readiness Initiative, a program providing 550 Southern Dallas women with the necessary social support, and technical and soft-skills training needed to secure employment in high-growth industries such as Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics, Sales and Marketing, Food and Hospitality Management, and others. Made possible through a three-year, $750,000 grant from The PepsiCo Foundation, once underway, the program will expand to aid women throughout North Texas.

The program is the latest progress point for Southern Dallas Thrives, an initiative created in partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, The PepsiCo Foundation and Frito-Lay North America, which advances outcomes for students Pre-K-12, increases food access, and supports women entering and advancing in the workforce.

Today, nearly one in three adults live in poverty in Southern Dallas. Many Southern Dallas residents are unemployed or underemployed and the jobs available often do not pay a living wage. Women, in particular, are significantly impacted and have difficulties in accessing the workforce in the Southern sector. Providing access to childcare will help mothers to enter the workforce and fill more than 42,000 unfilled jobs in the area.

"Providing women with the resources they need not only helps them in the near future, but it creates a long-term, positive ripple effect across all areas of their lives," said Laura Maxwell, SVP, supply chain, PepsiCo Foods North America. "The Women's Workforce Readiness Initiative aims to remove barriers and create opportunity for these women to succeed."

The Women's Workforce Readiness Initiative to Provide Real Opportunity for Women in Dallas
Through the Women's Workforce Readiness Initiative, up to 550 women will be placed in jobs in Dallas in high-growth, food system industries over the course of three years. At the program's end, Southern Dallas Thrives will exceed its original goal to provide 200 mothers with job skills to enter the workforce by 75 percent.

The Women's Workforce Readiness Initiative will include:

  • Social support: Women in the program will receive access to housing, transportation and childcare, as well as food / nutrition support.
  • Soft-skills training: The program will provide life skills training to take place at CitySquare, including: financial coaching, networking, resume development, interview preparation and recommendations for a work-environment wardrobe.
  • Technical-skills training: Training will include tracks from Dallas College to take place at CitySquare and nearby Dallas College campuses that will lead to real career paths – such as Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics, Sales and Marketing, Food and Hospitality Management, and others.

"Financial stability, along with education and health, is a key building block of opportunity," said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton president and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. "Our entire community benefits when another North Texas woman is equipped with the training and support to enter and stay in the workforce with a good-paying job that sustains her family. United Way's holistic, collaborative approach to preparing women for career success, paired with Frito-Lay's commitment to the communities in which its people live and work, makes us uniquely positioned to serve women in the Southern Dallas sector."

There are many ways women can become involved in the program, including a direct referral from another CitySquare program, referrals from Dallas College as well as referrals from one of CitySquare's more than 100 community partners.

"Creating lasting impact for our community starts with programs that provide a path forward for those who need it," said John Siburt, CEO, CitySquare. "The Women's Workforce Readiness Initiative aligns closely with CitySquare's goal to help close the skills gap that prevents neighbors from entering viable career paths. By equipping women in this program with the skills and knowledge needed to obtain and retain employment, we are helping provide employers with ready-to-work talent in high-demand fields."

"The future of workforce depends on educated and highly skilled workers, said Monica Lira Bravo, chair, Dallas College Board of Trustees. "At Dallas College, we are proud to partner with PepsiCo to help women and our students have the education and training they need to immediately enter the workforce."

PepsiCo to Launch Dallas Scholarship and Professional Mentoring Program for Black and Hispanic Community
Providing education and opportunities spans beyond the Southern Dallas Thrives initiative. In 2020, PepsiCo announced a more than $570 million commitment over the next five years to lift up Black and Hispanic businesses and communities in the U.S. to address issues of inequality and create opportunity.

As part of this commitment, PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation are launching a scholarship and professional mentoring program to support Black and Hispanic aspiring and graduating community college students. The $40 million initiative is designed to help students gain jobs in growing industries like cybersecurity, IT, engineering, manufacturing and management through partnerships with community colleges across the country. It will provide students with funding for tuition and living expenses as well as mentoring, training and opportunities for work experience. Dallas College was selected as one of four inaugural partners for the program, in addition to community colleges in Houston, Chicago and Westchester, N.Y., and the program is expected to expand to support students in 16 additional cities in the fall. The program aims to support 4,000 students over five years.

PepsiCo and Frito-Lay are continuously encouraging the broader Dallas-Fort Worth community to help make a lasting change in Southern Dallas and beyond. For more information, visit the Southern Dallas Thrives and the PepsiCo websites.

About Frito-Lay North America
Frito-Lay North America is the $18 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, http://www.fritolay.com/ and on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/fritolay.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

About The PepsiCo Foundation   
Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. Working with non-profits and experts around the globe, we're focused on helping alleviate hunger, managing water and waste responsibly and supporting women as champions of nutrition from farm to family. We strive for tangible impact in the places where we live and work—collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations, and our employees to affect large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and are of global importance. Learn more at www.pepsico.com/sustainability/philanthropy.  

SOURCE Frito-Lay North America

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