Rocket Mortgage And Homefree-USA Expand Partnership That Brings Flagship Financial Education Programming To HBCUS
– Programs Will Also Bring Diverse Talent To Detroit, A Key Goal Of Rocket Mortgage’s Diversity Equity And Inclusion (DEI) Efforts
Rocket Mortgage and Black-founded HomeFree-USA today announced an expansion of their ongoing partnership, which will continue financial education and career preparation through HomeFree-USA’s flagship education initiative, The Center for Financial Advancement® (CFA), at six historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Through this partnership Rocket Mortgage is developing a pipeline to bring diverse new talent to Rocket Mortgage and its Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT) affiliates.
First partnering in 2018 on CFA, the organizations work side by side to provide tools and opportunities to prospective homebuyers to bridge the Black homeownership gap, collaborate on numerous financial information programs, and offer educational initiatives to HBCUs. The partnership expands beyond those goals for 2021 by investing in career preparation that will allow HBCU students to access fields where they are traditionally underrepresented.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion are core tenets of our culture – existing beyond the lens of homeownership by informing everything we do and every space our organization touches,” said Trina Scott, Chief Diversity Officer for Rocket Companies. “This expanded partnership will provide Black and other students of color with financial education programming and training, as well as allow them to access meaningful opportunities to join our organization in whatever role best suits their talents and skillsets.”
HomeFree-USA launched CFA on the heels of a 2016 study that says although more African Americans than ever are going to college, Black students are still overrepresented in majors that result in the lowest paying jobs. As a solution, CFA was founded to introduce HBCU students to the mortgage and real estate finance industry as a career opportunity and elevate their money management skills, while teaching them about homeownership, credit and building wealth.
Sponsoring partners engage the students, faculty, parents and the local community at-large on such topics as credit, student loans, savings, homeownership and opportunities in the mortgage finance profession. CFA educates and prepares young adults financially, professionally and personally for a sound future.
The initiative was piloted in 2017 at Fisk University and continues at North Carolina A&T State University, Fort Valley State University, Bowie State University, North Carolina Central University and Morgan State University.
Fisk University, North Carolina Central University, Morgan State University and North Carolina A&T State University have all been scored by U.S. News & World Report as top-20 HBCUs in the United States.
“Partnering with companies like Rocket Mortgage allows us to continue this important work of diversifying talent in corporate America while providing much needed financial literacy to our students at historically Black colleges and universities,” said Marcia Griffin, President and CEO of HomeFree-USA and an alumna of two HBCUs. “Very few mortgage and real estate finance corporations and financial institutions have internship programs that aggressively recruit directly from HBCUs. This must change. Students at historically black colleges and universities are among the best America has to offer.”
Rocket Mortgage and HomeFree-USA will leverage the CFA Scholars program to bring diverse talent to Rocket Companies. Equipped with vital career, leadership, financial and life-skills training, students will be able to attend events at Rocket Mortgage’s campus in Detroit specifically for CFA Scholars, meet with talent recruiters on their campus, participate in conferences and summits with Rocket Companies executives, and more.
In addition to efforts to increase the hiring of Detroit residents, this expanded partnership allows Rocket Companies’ to attract diverse talent to Detroit as it continues to holistically address its ongoing DEI efforts. Rocket Companies will hire 10% of its future interns from HBCUs, with the goal of bringing as many of the interns on as full-time team members as possible.
“We are appreciative of the invaluable opportunities the Center for Financial Advancement® has delivered to our campus community, providing our students with resources and key insights to enhance their academic and career pursuits,” David K. Wilson, President of Morgan State.
In 2020, Rocket Companies and the greater Rock Family of Companies announced its “6 Point Plan,” a blueprint to address diversity, equity and inclusion at the organization. Since then, the organization has leveraged its For More Than Profit philosophy and culture to impact the outcome on race, equity and inclusion in six specific areas, including talent recruitment.
The two organizations are already planning to bring the CFA initiative to additional campuses for the 2021 – 2022 academic year. Financial terms of the of the partnership were not disclosed.
About Quicken Loans/Rocket Mortgage
Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender and a part of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through its obsession with an industry-leading, digital-driven client experience. $213 billion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states in the first three quarters of 2020. In late 2015, Quicken Loans introduced Rocket Mortgage, the first fully digital mortgage experience. Currently, 98% of all home loans originated by Quicken Loans utilize Rocket Mortgage Technology.
Quicken Loans moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. Today, Quicken Loans and Rocket Companies employ more than 22,000 full-time team members nationwide. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix and operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit. Quicken Loans ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction for primary mortgage origination by J.D. Power for 11 consecutive years, 2010 – 2020, and also ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction among all mortgage servicers seven consecutive years, 2014 – 2020.
Quicken Loans was once again named to FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2020 and has been included in the magazine’s top 1/3rd of companies named to the list for the past 17 consecutive years. In addition, Essence Magazine named Quicken Loans “#1 Place to Work in the Country for African Americans.”
For more information and company news visit QuickenLoans.com/press-room.
About HomeFree-USA / The Center for Financial Advancement®
HomeFree-USA is Black-founded nonprofit started by Marcia and Jim Griffin in 1994 with a vision to close the homeownership gap by giving African-Americans the guidance they need to achieve and sustain homeownership. As a HUD-intermediary, HomeFree-USA serves the diverse interests of 4.5 million consumers through its nationwide network of 50 plus affiliated, community-based, nonprofits that specialize in guiding people to first-time homeownership, homeownership sustainability, and increased financial capacity.
HomeFree-USA launched the Center for Financial Advancement® (CFA) as a solution to the industry’s call for more diversity. HomeFree-USA partners with, trains, and provides students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) opportunities for externships, internships and full-time jobs in partnering mortgage and real estate finance companies. Participating CFA Scholars are exposed to credit, money management, leadership development, and homeownership, creating the next generation of leaders and homeowners. For more information, visit homefreeusa.org/cfa.