July 31, 2020
Congratulations to the Concordance Academy of Leadership in St. Louis, Missouri as they launch the "First Chance campaign,” a $50 million fundraising effort to expand their successful reentry model to 11 additional cities by 2025 and double the number of participants they serve in the St. Louis region!
Concordance was established in 2015 and partners with individuals re-entering society for 18 months, beginning 6 months prior to release, using a holistic, individualized, integrated and evidence-driven approach developed in partnership with the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University St. Louis. The result has been a reduction in reincarceration rates by 38% - from about 4 in 5 justice-involved individuals to just 2 in 5.
Participants’ 18-month journey begins with a focus on healing their personal trauma, followed by comprehensive services including substance use and mental health treatment, education, job readiness and employment, housing, legal services and more.
Concordance Employment Agency, the organization’s staffing enterprise, supports candidates through three phases of transitional employment – a 2-week workplace simulation followed by part-time employment for 8 to 10 weeks, then full-time placements in temp-to-hire track positions with employer partners in warehouse/logistics, retail and food service. The staffing business annually helps approximately 100 Academy graduates on their employment search and has a 71% retention rate at 90 days post-hire.
Tom Grant leads the Employment Agency and notes that their temp-to-hire conversion period is 1,040 hours, twice the standard 520 hours, because “we know we need to stay in contact with our people longer. The healing journey is not the same for everyone and so many of our participants need continuing support as they transition. There are triggers all along the way.”
We look forward to Concordance bringing their services to more returning citizens across the U.S. and wish them well as they proceed with their expansion!