For most people, finding meaningful employment is essential to maintaining a stable life — and that’s especially true for young people entering the workforce.
Hiring managers hold a unique position. They make decisions that influence the betterment of organizations and individuals alike, providing the opportunity for long-lasting, positive transformations.
One of many programs and services offered by Episcopal Community Services, the Old City-based social services agency where I work as program manager of employer engagement, is the RISE Initiative.
RISE is a career readiness program that works with young adults aged 18 through 25. Standing for “resources, independence, success and employment,” RISE helps young adults identify their career goals and develop the skills they need to achieve them.
People in the program often face barriers to employment, such as lack of access to transportation, lack of funds for work essentials like uniforms or lack of the proper identification for new hire paperwork. For some participants, obtaining gainful employment is even harder if they have a criminal record as a result of a misdemeanor. At ECS, we want to change that.
Our program is designed to reduce these barriers and enhance soft skills through collaborative one-on-one coaching. After 10 weeks of training, each person is armed with a career and education plan and can access job openings from our employer partners. We stay connected throughout a year of follow-up to ensure they are not only ready to find employment, but ready to maintain it.
For these young men and women, improvements to their lives can only start with them. But support is needed from the business world.
In order to have a flourishing business, you need to be fully-staffed with a motivated and effective team. But what if in addition to hiring as a way to meet goals, employers used hiring as a way to give back? What if they were able to save their business money at the same time? And what if in addition to having a fully-staffed, motivated and effective team, businesses had a team of people making a fresh start?
On Thursday, Jan. 19, ECS will host regional employers for the next event in its employer education series, “Tax Matters: Making Sense of Work Opportunity Tax Credits,” geared towards helping hiring professionals understand the ways that they can diversify their workforce, take advantage of tax credits available for hiring and save money for their business.
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One of several tax credits to be discussed is the Philadelphia Re-Entry Program (PREP) Tax Credit. Offered by the Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services, the tax supports citizens returning from incarceration and allows employers to receive up to $10,000 per qualifying employee hired per year over a three-year period.
As we see it at ECS, hiring is another way for people to give back — a new method of philanthropy, even.-30-
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