Across the US, community centers are creating businesses or social enterprises that provide comprehensive on-the-job training for residents and drive new sources of revenue for the organization and neighborhood. This award recognizes innovative programs that utilize the power of community center-created business ventures to train people for a range of local jobs.
The winner and finalists in the Business Ventures as a Training Ground award category have developed unique hybrid businesses based on local market needs that provide tailored skills training and create new jobs for disadvantaged and hard-to-employ populations.
Applications were vetted by internal teams, and the winner and finalists selected by an external panel of professionals. Judges looked for demonstrated need in the community or elsewhere for the products/services provided by the business venture; success in generating new income for the organization; evidence of comprehensive support and resources for reducing barriers to employment; and proven impact for individuals, families and the community.
East End Community Services
Dayton Works Plus
Dayton Works Plus is one of the largest, nonprofit residential deconstruction firms in the nation. The firm creates green job training opportunities and jobs for hard-to-employ individuals by salvaging and selling materials from vacant, foreclosed and dilapidated homes in blighted Dayton neighborhoods. Money raised from selling salvaged materials supports the costs of the program. This business model ties together neighborhood revitalization with education reform; housing and community development; job creation; and employment training.
Dayton Works Plus responds to the need to both remove these vacant buildings, many of which became shelters for drug dealers and prostitutes, and to provide jobs in a region where thousands of manufacturing positions have been lost.
Program participants divert waste and save valuable materials from homes that are then sold globally through Dayton Works Plus’ retail operation, Deconstruction Depot. This transforms not only an abundance of abandoned homes into safer neighborhoods with reduced crime, but also provides opportunities for disadvantaged community members to move toward economic stability.
Communities nationwide have recognized the program as a unique model that can be scaled and replicated. East End Community Services has begun to provide technical assistance to other organizations that are seeking to begin green jobs training programs.Read More…
Programs highlights include:
Impressive results to date include:
Sunnyside Community Services
Home Health Aide Training Program
New York, New York
The Sunnyside Community Services (SCS) Home Health Aide (HHA) Training Program provides a low-income, low-skilled immigrant population in New York with home health aide training and a direct path to employment at its business enterprise, Sunnyside Citywide Home Care Services (SCHCS).
A growing senior population wishing to age in their homes has increased the demand for home health care services in the community, growing the client base of SCHCS. The HHA Training Program meets both the demand for culturally-relevant home care services, and addresses the workforce needs of a large population of unemployed community residents. As part of the business model, surplus revenue from SCHCS is re-invested in the community center.Read More…
The Up Center
Up Center Books Responsible Fatherhood Program
The Up Center Books Responsible Fatherhood Program provides men facing serious barriers to employment with real world on-the-job training; transitional employment; and supportive services. Up Center Books is a nonprofit business venture of Up Center, and is one of the nation’s largest on-line sellers of used books. Up Center Books generates revenue to support this and other social programs from the sale of used books.Read More…