Ernst & Young announced involvement in a new multi-stakeholder Clinton Global Initiative America commitment to accelerating the access to and creation of employment pathways for at-risk youth.

The goal of the Big Four firm’s three-year commitment to expand its existing College MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence) program is to reconnect “Opportunity Youth” to meaningful pathways leading to employment. To help the 5.8 million Americans aged 16 to 24 that are disconnected from these opportunities for economic self-sufficiency and full-time employment, program expansion will include four additional schools each year to impact a total of more than 1,100 students at 35 schools across the U.S.

Since its launch in 2009 with the nonprofit College for Every Student, the College MAP program has featured 675 EY professionals providing mentoring and support to underserved students pursuing higher education.

The program helps students navigate the application and financial aid process, provides access to resources, and exposes students to the benefits of higher education.

Additionally, EY will launch the College MAP Collegian program for college students who completed the College MAP program during high school, with a commitment valued at more than $1 million per year. The firm will also work with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, an organization that supports the youth mentoring movement through policy and advocacy efforts, to develop a white paper on best practice in corporate involvement in youth mentoring in the United States.

“EY's purpose is to build a better working world,” stated Mark Weinberger, chairman and CEO of the Global EY organization. “Ensuring today's young people have the opportunities to develop the skills needed in today's job market is critical to the nation's future. Using the passion of our people to mentor underserved youth and expand access to higher education is one of the ways we're fulfilling our purpose.”

At the 2014 CGI America meeting, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Job One, a major set of commitments, including EY’s, that focus on improving job pathways for youth in the U.S.

"Six years after the financial crisis, nearly six million young people in the United States are out of school and out of work,” stated Clinton. “And for those who do not earn a high school or college degree, the doors are closed, no matter how hard they knock. EY will expand its intensive college mentorship program for high school juniors and seniors to new American cities and extend its mentoring efforts to follow students through their college careers so they graduate on time and have a chance for meaningful jobs."

The commitment marks the ninth EY has made with CGI since 2008. For more on the 2013-14 school year expansion of College MAP and to learn more about the program, visit here.