When it comes to hiring a diverse workforce, Wall Street could use a little help.
That’s what Troy Prince, founder and CEO of nonprofit organization Wall Street Bound, is trying to do.
“We know that talent and IQ is equally distributed,” he said in an interview Tuesday with Halftime Report. “Opportunity is not.
“This demographic, they do have the innate hunger [and] behavioral and cognitive abilities to succeed,” added Prince, who has worked around the world in various trading and investment firms ever since graduating from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 1992.
“It is only a matter of connecting them with the opportunities through education and access.”
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Minority workers have been particularly hard hit during this economic downturn.
While the economy-wide unemployment rate improved in May, the rate for black Americans rose to 16.8% — the highest level in a decade. The unemployment rate for Latino workers was 17.6%, while the rate for white workers was 12.4%.
Several business leaders have pointed to America’s racial wealth gap as part of the impetus behind current unrest across the nation. Protests began after the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.
“So much of this unrest, this civil unrest, is tied to economic inequality,” Mellody Hobson, president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments, told CNBC last week. “That’s just a fact.
“We need to move the needle on this economic inequality,”
Prince’s mission is to train under-served young adults, ages 18 to 24, on the ins and outs of trading. His students can either be attending college or recent graduates. Wall Street Bound will screen and accept candidates into the program and provide credentials training, as well as mentoring and support.
They’ll receive technical training through its partnership with Maverick Trading, which has been training traders for over 20 years, its CEO Darren Fisher told “Halftime” Monday.
That means they’ll learn how to trade stocks and options. Once they complete the qualification program, they will have access to the firms capital to trade and manage. They will keep between 70% and 80% of the profits they generate.
“Let’s break the chicken and the egg cycle: How do you get a job if you don’t have experience? How do I get experience if I don’t have a job?” Fisher said.
Eventually the traders will “outgrow” Maverick Trading and be ready to move on to a new job on Wall Street.
“They are going to be able to say, ‘I have experience running live capital,'” Fisher said.
“This is going to be good for Wall Street.”
—CNBC’s Sharon Epperson contributed to this report.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.