Gap Inc’s relationship with Juma has been long-lasting and broad since we started working together back in 1995. We’ve had representation on their board, provided support through pro-bono volunteers, contributed funding, and offered paid-internships to dozens of teens as an employer partner.
A first job is incredibly important for everyone. I remember my first job: I was selling paper subscriptions door to door, going through chain link fences and dogs barking and unfriendly people answering the door. It was a tough place to learn. But what we’re doing with Juma is offering youth the opportunity to learn a first job in a safe environment that boosts their confidence and helps them succeed.
We know from research that the youth from today who don’t have a positive experience in their first job earn 20% less over their career. This is an important problem that needs to be addressed, and Juma and Gap Inc. are working together on it.
In 2007, we started ‘This Way Ahead’, a youth employment program at Gap Inc. through which fifty-one Juma teens are working at our stores in the Bay Area. By 2025, our goal is to hire 5% of Gap Inc.’s total workforce through ‘This Way Ahead.’ That’s 5,000 people each year, and Juma is an integral partner to help us achieve this.