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OppsPlace Makes Strong Debut in National Business Market

OppsPlace Provides a Much Needed Single Destination for Companies Looking to Hire Minorities and Qualified Minority Businesses for Vendor Supplier Opportunities

Bethesda, MD February 06, 2012/- Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, in collaboration with Ariel M. Friedler, president of Symplicity Corporation, the market leader in online career tools, today announced the launch of OppsPlace.com. OppsPlace provides companies with the best opportunity to find qualified, minority job seekers and minority businesses in one online destination. OppsPlace is free of charge for job seekers and minority firms and allows corporate human resources and procurement executives to easily access qualified job seekers and qualified minority businesses for openings to provide the best opportunities.

“I created OppsPlace for several reasons,” said Johnson. “First, to reduce the disparity in unemployment for minority Americans and to increase access for vendor services and supplier contracts for minority businesses. Second, I also created OppsPlace to provide corporate America with a targeted destination to identify and interact with minorities for employment and business opportunities. With over 30 charter member companies who have joined OppsPlace, it clearly demonstrates their commitment to diversity and inclusion,” he added. “As more U.S. companies, large and small, become OppsPlace members, OppsPlace will help reduce unemployment for millions of minority Americans, will provide access to capital to thousands of minority businesses, and will help drive the economic recovery of this country by giving minority Americans a fair shot which they deserve to participate fully in the American Dream.”

“Unique to OppsPlace is the profile builder which allows companies to focus on their diversity initiatives, mentorship programs, business match-making as well vendor/supplier opportunities,” said Friedler, co-founder of OppsPlace. “OppsPlace is not a destination to simply upload a standard resume, but it is a platform that allows job seekers and minority businesses to network with each other and interact with professionals at hiring companies.”

“OppsPlace is much more than a jobs board,” said Kelli Richardson Lawson, president and COO of OppsPlace. “It is a diverse online network that aggregates rich content and resources in one destination and is dedicated to helping job seekers and minority business owners engage directly with key decision makers in corporate America,” she added. “It is the only place on the web that aggregates job seekers and minority businesses in the spirit of helping communities of color enhance their lives and financial well-being.”

For many years, Johnson has been focused on creating opportunities for minorities and recently announced the RLJ Rule for public and private sector businesses. The RLJ Rule is an adaptation of the National Football League’s (NFL) Rooney Rule, which requires the 32 teams to interview at least one qualified minority candidate whenever a head coaching or general manager position become available. The RLJ Rule is designed to encourage companies to voluntarily establish a "best practices" policy of diversity and inclusion by identifying and interviewing minority candidates or vendors that are often overlooked under traditional hiring or procurement practices.

OppsPlace and the RLJ Rule are two solutions where Johnson believes businesses both large and small can take direct action to increase employment and business opportunities for minority Americans.

To date, more than 30 companies have joined OppsPlace as Charter Members:

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. HBO State Street
Aflac KB Home Strayer Education, Inc.
Avery Dennison



BNY Mellon Lowe’s Toyota
Capital One Financial Corporation McDonald’s® Travelers
Colgate-Palmolive Company New York Life United States Steel Corporation
Dell Northern Trust UPMC
Education Management Corporation
Penn Mutual Vibrant Pittsburgh (VP)
EMC PNC Financial


FedEx Corporation

PPG Industries, Inc. YUM! Brands
General Motors Prudential Financial, Inc.  
Giant Eagle State Farm®  

About The RLJ Companies

The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in hotel real estate investment trust; private equity; financial services; asset management; insurance services; automobile dealerships; sports and entertainment; and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, MD, with affiliate operations in Charlotte, NC; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia, Liberia. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET). For more information please visit:www.rljcompanies.com.

About OppsPlace

OppsPlace, LLC created by Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies and Ariel Friedler, CEO of Symplicity Corporation, is the preeminent online network for minorities looking to build net worth. It is the only online community that aggregates rich content, minorities looking for jobs and minority businesses seeking to do business with U.S. corporations – all in a robust networking environment. OppsPlace provides U.S. companies with the best opportunity to find qualified, minority job seekers and minority businesses in one online destination. For more information visit www.oppsplace.com.

About Symplicity Corporation

A pioneer in higher education, government, and business systems, Symplicity is passionate about providing its clients with IT solutions; services and products that enable them to maximize productivity, increase their return on investment, and enhance their relationships with customers and constituents. Symplicity specializes in database driven, web-based applications, enterprise information systems architecture and development, network design and management, systems and software engineering, network integration and management, information security and enterprise systems management. For more information visit www.symplicity.com.

Press Contact: | Traci Otey Blunt | Director of Communications | 240.744.7858 | press@rljcompanies.com |

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