Exact Sciences restarted in Madison in 2009 with a focus on making a positive impact on the community through employee engagement and active participation with community partners. The more our business engages within our community, the stronger Dane County becomes and the stronger our business will become.
Our partnership with the Urban League is an opportunity to highlight how businesses and non-profit organizations can work together to strengthen their community. The Urban League of Greater Madison has been working with Exact Sciences to expand a program that will create more opportunities in the biosciences for people who are unemployed or underemployed and who are willing to work hard to create a better life for themselves and their families.
People of color and women are significantly underrepresented in science and engineering jobs. A 2017 study by the National Science Foundation found that African-American women hold only two percent of such jobs, while African-American men hold just three percent of them. Exact Sciences and the Urban League have come together because we understand the critical contribution of diversity to an organization’s success.
We are confident that our partnership can improve the participation of underrepresented populations in our community’s bioscience sector. To meet our goal, we plan to train adults for internships, apprenticeships and employment at Exact Sciences.
Nicole Jones is a great example of the partnership between Exact Sciences and the Urban League of Greater Madison. Several years ago, Nicole was stuck. Underemployed in a part-time job and looking for a permanent place to live, she needed help. The Urban League’s career academy improved Nicole’s resume-writing and job interview skills, and pointed her towards a great job opportunity at Exact Sciences. Nicole’s job coach helped her overcome the housing hurdle, allowing her to focus on getting and keeping a job. Today, Nicole works in the lab where the processing of all Cologuard tests begins.
To build on this success, training for future employees like Nicole will take place at the joint City of Madison and Urban League employment center located near Exact Sciences’ new campus. Our hope is that we can help lay the foundation for rewarding careers at Exact Sciences and the advancement of those who participate.
A number of Urban League clients have previously been trained and subsequently employed by Exact Sciences, most in the call center where they field important questions about Cologuard from patients across the country. Already we’ve demonstrated Exact Sciences’ commitment as an employer that reaches out to people of all backgrounds who are willing to grow as individuals and commit themselves to an important cause.