Your employees are your most valuable assets. You should be investing in them.

Your employees are your most valuable assets. You should be investing in them.

If you aren’t investing in your employees, you’re not investing in your company’s most valuable assets. The AALI Journey is an opportunity to invest in your workforce, develop the leadership skills of your employees of color, and increase their human capital. This is not a charity request; this program will provide a return on your investment by increasing the productivity of your workforce.


Why should I send my African American employees to AALI Journey?

As a business owner, you have one crucial duty to fulfill to your stakeholders: maximize profit. To do that, you need the most productive employees because your most valuable asset isn’t your equipment, your building, or your technology, it’s your workforce.

To emphasize that point, a study of more than 3,100 U.S. workplaces by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce found that “on average, a 10% increase in workforce education level led to an 8.6% gain in total productivity. But a 10% increase in the value of equipment increased productivity just 3.4%”

Another study by the Association for Talent Development (formerly known as the American Society for Training & Development) found that "leading-edge" companies trained 86% of employees (and spent twice as much per employee) while "average" companies trained only 74% of them. “Companies that invest the most in workplace learning, the study showed, yielded higher net sales per employee, higher gross profits per employee, and a higher ratio in market-to-book values.” The message is clear: in order to maximize profit, you need to invest in your workforce.

This applies to employee retention as well. A 2016 Paychex survey of 2,000 employees revealed that 29% of them would leave a job that offered no opportunities for skill development. Moreover, a 2016 Gallup report showed that 87% of millennials considered professional or career growth and development opportunities to be important to them in a job, while 59% of them deemed it to be extremely important. The AALI Journey is one of those opportunities, one that you cannot afford to miss if you have African American employees or other employees of color.

Your workforce is the most valuable and important asset you’ll ever have as a business owner. Spending money on the professional development of your employees isn’t a cost, it’s an investment, and it’s one that is proven to reap benefits for your business in the long-run. Hence, the AALI Journey is not a charity initiative and we are not appealing to your philanthropy, we are telling you that you need to make this investment for the long-term competitiveness of your business.

You cannot afford to miss this if you have employees of color.



Diversity is arguably one of the most popular words of the decade and is incredibly important in today’s social and business environment. The numbers show us why. A recent study by Pew Research Center found that 48% of Generation Z (people born after 1996, so 23yrs old and younger) is an ethnic minority. Is your business ready to accommodate the current/future workforce?

Further research also shows that diversity is more than just a buzzword. Specifically, the 2015 Diversity Matters report by McKinsey & Company found that:


  • Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
  • Companies in the bottom quartile both for gender and for ethnicity and race are statistically less likely to achieve above-average financial returns than the average companies in the data set. That is, bottom-quartile companies are lagging rather than merely not leading.
  • In the U.S., there is a linear relationship between racial and ethnic diversity and better financial performance: for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity on the senior-executive team, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rise 0.8 percent.


The case in favor of diversity is no longer a moral one, it is a rational one. If your company is not diverse in terms of culture, experience, race, age, gender etc., you are at a significant competitive disadvantage.


What if I don't have African American employees?

Based on the early feedback we have received, we understand that some employers in the community that believe that they can’t do anything to support AALI -- especially the AALI Journey -- because they don’t have African American employees or employees of color. They support and champion our initiative, but feel that they are powerless to do anything. We want to make it absolutely clear that this is not true; there are many ways to support AALI. By visiting this link you can sponsor:


  • An annual AALI membership for a person ($60 for founding members; $120 for non-founders);
  • A candidate/employee for the Leadership Development Journey (AALI Journey) ($500);
  • An AALI Social event ($275);
  • An AALI Speaks event ($325);
  • A financial donation of a different amount;
  • In-kind donations.


By supporting AALI in these ways, you publicly show that you support the values and goals of this program, even if you don’t have employees of color. Of course, if you choose to sponsor AALI, we will display your logo and business name at corresponding events and on our website. Hence, sponsoring AALI is just like sponsoring other events or programs: you receive a return on your investment through increased exposure to potential customers.

No matter who you are or where you live, you CAN be a part of this new initiative.

You can become an AALI.

Register for the AALI Journey

The goal of AALI is to identify and cultivate African American leaders in Mansfield and Richland County. An important component of this initiative is the leadership development cohort: the AALI Journey.

Similar to the incredibly successful Leadership Unlimited program, participants will learn about their leadership qualities and how to put them into action in the community and their personal and professional lives. The AALI Journey will develop the leadership qualities already existent in participants, create more productive employees for your business, and, most importantly, create more diverse leaders in the community.

Meetings will occur every second Thursday of the month, running from April till December, and will last the entire day. To launch the AALI Journey, there will be an icebreaker event on March 22nd.

The deadline to register is March 13, so hurry up and get registered quickly at this link!

Register for the AALI Journey!

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Upcoming Events


Bring Your A Game--Employee Training

Bring Your A Game to Work! Employee Training. Soft Skills Training.

Bring Your A Game--Employee Training

Bring Your A Game to Work! Employee Training. Soft Skills Training.

AALI Social August: Meet The Authors

This month we are highlighting four local African American authors and their great work. Loretta Hillard, Jeffrey Jones, Brigitte Coles, and Edward Akinyemi will showcase their books!