People-Based. Market-Driven.


First Step Staffing and YUPRO in spotlight at Staffing World

November 5, 2020

The American Staffing Association’s recent conference and expo highlighted two of our member practitioners!

Amelia Nickerson, CEO of First Step Staffing presented on a panel about Action-Oriented Solutions to Address Diversity and Inclusion in Staffing Organizations, and Year Up Professional Services (YUPRO) received ASA’s Elevate Award for its work-based learning program “YUPRO Pathways at Work ― Your StepUP to Success."

Amelia cited worker performance as the way First Step changes employer stereotypes about job seekers with criminal records, and she underscored the high business costs of overlooking this productive and motivated talent pool. In making the case to employers, she advised staffing companies to have honest conversations, nudge them to incrementally loosen background restrictions, promote individual candidates, and cite the broad evidence base that “second chancers” are superior workers.

YUPRO, which places young adult graduates and alumni of Year Up into IT and f­inancial services jobs, developed "Pathways to Work" to improve participants’ contract retention, career advancement and conversions to permanent employment. The program’s high-touch approach includes an assessment of 20 readiness skills, customized, on-assignment coaching conducted by YUPRO-certified coaches, and customer feedback sessions resulting in continuous performance improvement. This year, 400 contract employees have received 1,700 hours of coaching. Among the program’s positive outcomes, assignments last an average of 40 weeks, and 74% of assignments result in extensions.

“Our ability to positively affect the career progression of our talent — who may get overlooked in traditional talent acquisition methods — while enhancing the workforce of tomorrow for our employer partners is the foundation of our social mission,” said Michelle Sims, CEO of YUPRO. “We believe everyone should be afforded the opportunity to StepUP to success."

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