PGA of America, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis partner to advance diversity through 100th PGA Championship

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PGA of America, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis partner to advance diversity through 100th PGA Championship

ST. LOUIS – In celebration of the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club, Aug. 6-12, the PGA of America and Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis have partnered to advance diversity in the golf industry, while creating a legacy of hope and opportunity in the region. Designed to change the trajectory of lives and serve as a catalyst for positive change in the local community, the partnership also commemorates the Urban League’s centennial.

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Several initiatives and events that focus on job creation, career development, mentoring and business opportunities within the golf industry highlight the partnership. Participants will learn about the myriad of career opportunities in the $84.1 billion golf industry, the importance of positive mentors and role models, and the many possibilities created from the 1.9 million jobs that golf creates and supports.

“It’s especially important for the future of our game and the golf industry to open our doors wide to a diverse pool of talent,” said PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua. “That is why we’re delighted to partner with our friends at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis—to showcase opportunities that exist for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the industry, as well as highlight the impact golf has on economic growth.  I can think of no more important legacy for the 100th PGA Championship than to welcome a diverse group of talented young people into the golf industry.”

"We’re honored to be chosen to work with the PGA of America on this most noteworthy 100th PGA Championship, as it coincides with our centennial anniversary,” said Michael P. McMillan, President & CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. “This partnership showcases the fact that both the PGA and Urban League are committed to forging new paths of greater diversity in the communities in which we live, work and serve." 

Among the initiatives and events:

  • PGA Championship Jobs Initiative (July–August): The PGA of America is facilitating introductions and discussions between key PGA Championship Prime Suppliers and SLATE (St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment) to place individuals from SLATE’s Young Adult Division (ages 16-24) in paid employment opportunities before, during and after the PGA Championship.  Prime Suppliers include American Maintenance, Cornerstone Parking Group, FoneSaver and Levy Restaurants.  Hundreds of shifts will be filled daily, and recruitment is underway. 
  • Beyond the Green at the 100th PGA Championship (Monday, Aug. 6): Beyond the Green inspires high school and college students to learn about careers in the golf industry through exposure to influential PGA Professionals, business executives and a behind-the-scenes view of the operations of the 100th PGA Championship. 

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Daytime Emmy Award-nominated actor Dondre Whitfield, who currently co-stars in Queen Sugar on the Oprah Winfrey Network, will deliver the keynote address. 
Students will also participate in “speed networking” with: 

  • PGA Vice President Suzy Whaley
  • Golf Channel Anchor Cara Banks 
  • KSDK-TV News Anchor Rene Knott
  • St. Louis Cardinals Beat Reporter Jenifer Langosch
  • iHeartMedia St. Louis Region President Derrick Martin
  • Enterprise Holdings Director of Creative Media and Sponsorships 
  • Michelle Russell Wazlawek
  • Golf Women Mean Business Regional Director Mary McCray

Participants representing the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and Urban K-Life will also be treated to a panel discussion comprised of golf industry leaders and a case study competition on growing participation in golf. 

  • Careers in Golf Session (Saturday, Aug. 11) – During the Urban Expo at the America’s Center, the PGA of America will host a seminar for young adults of the Urban League to learn about career possibilities in the $84 billion golf industry, as well as paths for them to pursue PGA Membership.

The partnership was launched at the Salute to Women in Leadership Celebration in June. 

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Additional components include: the PGA’s support of Urban League programs and services through a membership in the Whitney M. Young Society; the promotion of PGA WORKS-branded fellowships, internships and scholarships, and PGA Jr. League, in Urban Connection Magazine; and a donation by PGA Championship concessionaire and caterer Levy Restaurants of an 18-wheel, tractor trailer full of perishable and non-perishable items  to the Urban League’s Food Pantry on Aug. 14, for the benefit of St. Louis County residents.