Monday, May 14, 2018

Job Development for an "Unemployable" Population

Philanthropy Today, recently posted:  "This week’s Business of Giving features Carla Javits, CEO of Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF). The organization funds and collaborates with social enterprises to create jobs for people who have difficulty getting hired — people who are homeless, previously incarcerated, or recently in foster care. The organization helps build a system of support and guidance, and provides transitional employment so people can get skills and experience to help them move forward in the community."

Some of the positive actions reported by REDF include:

Cala in San Francisco that has deliberately employed people who are coming out of prison. It’s a very high-end restaurant. They provide a lot of support to the people that they employ there. There are catering businesses. There are some that create food products, like the Women’s Bean Project in Denver. There’s a neat one called the Monkey and the Elephant Café in Philly that employs former foster youth. So, many in the food area.

There are some in screen printing — printing T-shirts and bags and things like that. Great organization called New Door Ventures in San Francisco that employs young people coming out of the foster-care system or who have had other challenges. They also have a really neat bike sales and repair shop; one of the best in the city. And there’s a similar organization called New Avenues for Youth that’s up in Portland, Ore., that does the same thing. But the young people now have gotten into doing design work for some of the really big companies like Nike, etc.

Some of them do recycling or are sort of in the green area. There’s a new field called "deconstruction," where you take down a building and you used to just throw the stuff in the dump. But now, you can take the materials, and you can resell them. So that’s also a great business. We have some in even manufacturing. We have an airplane-parts manufacturing company called Orion up in Seattle. There’s just a very wide variety of businesses. And the basic idea is to provide real work to people who have different aptitudes and interests in a supportive work environment, where the management is really about helping them skill up, and connecting them to the services that they may need so that they can be successful.

Listen to the podcast, which is hosted by Denver Frederick, or read the transcript by clicking this link:

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