Double your donation to Towards Employment!
One in six residents in the state of Ohio has a criminal record. That works out to be 16 percent of the state's available workforce. When an incarcerated person is released, the mark of the criminal justice system can reduce their annual earnings by as much as 40 percent, creating a difficult and desperate survival situation. Recidivism isn't Ohio's only problem — over 70,000 jobs are open and available but employers are unable to find the talent to fill them because the literacy levels are below the requirement for minimum wage work (in Cuyahoga County, nearly 47 percent of all adults are below this standard). There's a gap, causing workers, families, and employers to suffer. Enter TE — giving Clevelanders the opportunity to go through career readiness training and emerge with training, skills, and credentials that can make them real MVP draft picks to employers.
Rookies to All-Stars:
Towards Employment solves this two-fold problem afflicting Northeast Ohio by creating a two-fold platform: one half empowers career pathways for disadvantaged workers and the other half builds a talent pipeline for companies looking to hire skilled labor. By partnering with people who are working to move out of poverty and equipping them with literacy, soft skills, and job readiness, Towards Employment fills this gap in the workforce for more than 300 employers in the industries of health care, manufacturing, culinary and hospitality, and construction. But it doesn't end with placement. Towards Employment supports the participant with coaching and supportive services throughout their employment to ensure long-term success.
Over 2,000 people each year benefit from Towards Employment's holistic services. In 2018, the organization helped 612 people find good jobs — 420 of whom had a criminal record. After 90 days in a job, 77 percent of graduates were still employed. This is a remarkable retention rate. The average starting wage was $11.39 an hour — more than $2 above the Ohio minimum hourly rate. Average advanced wage was $12.71. These results are a proven pathway from precarious survival into stable thriving.
This initiative is part of Stand Together Foundation's Giving Together $10 Million Match, challenging people across the country to use their time, talent, and resources to make a difference. Matching continues throughout 2019 until we reach our $10 million goal.