January 21, 2022
Congratulations to Alliance members AOS Staffing at Challenge Unlimited in Alton, Illinois and Purpose Workforce Solutions in Chicago on their selection to join REDF’s 2022 Accelerator Cohort!
The five-month Accelerator program brings together 18 employment social enterprise leaders for interactive learning and the opportunity to test new strategies to design impactful programming and grow their businesses.
Challenge Unlimited has ambitious goals to scale the number of job seekers placed through their AOS Staffing division, which creates meaningful pathways to work for job seekers of all abilities. They now employ 45 FTE workers each week across the St. Louis and Kansas City markets and aim to grow that to 300 FTEs in three years’ time. President and CEO Charlotte Hammond envisions partnering with a small or veteran-owned IT training business to help prepare workers for higher-paid knowledge-based jobs, and operating an in-house call center as a training base for job opportunities in the call center niche.
In Chicago, Paul Thompson, CEO of Purpose Workforce Solutions is eager to learn from other employment social enterprises about effective practices to build trust with candidates and help them thrive on-the-job. The company uses Workplace Persistence Training and 1:1 coaching to support its diverse young talent, and is exploring other successful practices that would enhance these support services. Paul is also working to develop the business's strategic plan.
We wish these them well as they proceed and look forward to future shared learnings for our sector from these efforts!