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Black Entrepreneur Recognized as an Innovator to Watch for His Social Capital Building Work

Social Capital Builders

Social Capital Builders Founder, Edward DeJesus

Closing the Opportunity Gap with Innovation and Truth

Youth will clearly invest in skills, education, and training when they know someone is on the other side of the labor market waiting and willing to help them put their achievements to work””

— Edward DeJesus

COLUMBIA, MD, UNITED STATES, June 7, 2022 / — Edward DeJesus knows the power of social capital. As a young father in his teens growing up in the Bronx, N.Y., he had to make the decision to go to college or get a full-time, low-paying, rotating shift, fast food job. The problem – he would not be able to attend college because of the shift work the job required. When telling a good friend about his predicament, he was advised, “Stop, I know someone who can help. You have another move.” Thanks to his best friend, and the social capital assets that DeJesus didn’t know he had, he was able to dodge the fast-food job and get a full-time evening job working with unemployed homeless men in New York City.

Edward DeJesus, like millions of present-day young adults, was not taught about the importance of social capital nor supported in developing it. In fact, according to DeJesus, most of the youth who he works with don’t regularly speak with gainfully employed family members about their occupations. He knows the importance of labor market connections and wants to see more young people, especially those from underserved communities, make the most out of every interaction with those who can share helpful career information, resources and support.

DeJesus not only went on to graduate from college, but he also became a leading expert on youth workforce development and now he and his company Social Capital Builders is on a mission to teach youth and adults about the importance of social cpatial and give them the tools and training to develop it.

That’s why JFF has recognized Social Captial Builders as an innovator to watch. In JFF’s recent report, Building Professional Social Capital for Black Learners and Workers, DeJesus’ firm is highlighted for its work in increasing social capital literacy (promoting awareness of what social capital is and why it’s important) in young adults and in the organizations that serve them.

According to the report authors, “Professional social capital—the resources that arise from the web of relationships we build with those around us and that contribute to our professional goals—is a key component of anyone’s career journey. It sets us up for success in the labor market, opening doors and serving as a source of information about and access to new career opportunities. It equips us with strategies, information, and resources that help us forge connections with the people we meet in the worlds of work and learning, and then strengthen those connections and expand our networks throughout our careers. And it’s a critical, yet often overlooked, element to equitable economic advancement.”

DeJesus created Social Capital Builders in 2019 to address this issue with the release of their Foundations in Social Capital Literacy Curriculum (FISCL) and their social capital building platform – My Opportunity Hub (MyOH). MyOH is the first web-app platform specifically designed to help youth build social capital with familial, developmental, and gateway assets – key workforce stakeholders who care about youth and are willing to spend 15 minutes a month sharing labor market information and some essential career support.

“It is time to help young people learn social network analysis techniques to determine their position in and out of opportunity networks and identify patterns of relationships with people, institutions and companies that can dramatically improve their present and future economic opportunities,” states DeJesus

DeJesus hopes that policy makers, investors and corporations will recognize it is time for a social capital approach to education and training. “Youth will clearly invest in skills, education, and training when they know someone is on the other side of the labor market waiting and willing to help them put their achievements to work.”

To interview Edward DeJesus, please submit a request to [email protected] or call 202-713-8393.

Edward DeJesus
DeJesus Solutions – Social Capital Builders
+1 202-713-8393
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This news story originally appeared at Lifestyle - Trend Magazine on 15 June 2022