Who We Are
OUT for Work began in the summer of 2004, under the guise of Diversity Change Agents (DCA)'s LGBTA Leadership and Career Fair. OUT for Work director and DCA owner Riley Folds began DCA as a LGBT diversity consultancy. Once establishing contacts with HRC and NGLCC's Justin Nelson, the diversity consultancy morphed into the OUT for Work college career fair for LGBTA undergraduate students.
At an NGLCC event, DCA was introduced to IBM, which became a top sponsor for OUT for Work programs. Since the OUT for Work conference first took place in 2005 at the HRC headquarters and the Beacon Hotel, numerous top organizations have joined OUT for Work to bring its innovative program to LGBTQA students nationwide.
In 2006 OUT for Work began making itself known to DC metropolitan area LGBTQ communities by attending local PRIDE festivals and events. OUT for Work also travels the nation speaking on the topic of the transition from academia to the workplace.
In the spring of 2007, OUT for Work became a national 501(c)3 educational non-profit, with board members: Christine Burkhart, Riley Folds, Nikko Kandhari, Jeff Marootian, and Michele Silverthorn.
Many organizations have joined OUT for Work as partners and sponsors over the years to participate in year-round events and at the annual national conference, including our most recent partners Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Beoing, Nordstrom, BP, Capital One, Northrop Grumman, Marriott, Verizon, Merck, Cummins, and Toyota.
Since the conception of OUT for Work, thousands of students have been educated, prepared, and empowered with a toolbox of knowledge to assist in a successful transition from academia into the workplace. Each year, OUT for Work participates in around 15-20 events, including many LGBTQ specific national conferences such as Creating Change, Out & Equal, MBLGTACC, and the Western Regional LGBTQ conference as well as national career center professional conferences including NACE, NASPA, ACPA, EACE, and MWACE. OUT for Work continues to grow as an organization and continues to release publications, resources, and programs throughout the year, including the Career Center Certification Program which assesses the quality of resources being provided by campus career centers to LGBTQ students across the US and provides access to campuses to the OUT for Work LGBTQ Career Resource Library as well as to trainings, webinars, on-campus workshops, and more.