Business transforming a community
From the Values & Capitalism initiative at the American Enterprise Institute
Electrical contractors, the Weifield Group are making a lasting impact on their community by giving ex-offenders and drug addicts a second chance.
Karla Nugent, Chief Business Development Officer and Seth Anderson, CEO explain:
"Being in the electrical trade you have four years to be in the field of on the job training, to become a Journeyman Electrician. With that, we support a four year Apprenticeship Programme. We're always hiring people to come into our programme, or we like to bring people in that are completely green, don't know the trade, so we can train them in our process. For that, we were starting to donate and spend time with different charities and we realised that they had some candidates that were coming out of their programmes looking for jobs. That's when we decided "Let's test this out." and we started this pre-apprenticeship programme.
"So the guys come to us from some of the varied programmes. Not only are they learning everything, they're kind of putting their lives together too. They learn their tools, they learn what it takes to go out to their job site. When we send them out, they're ready to go. It's really been just giving these guys just an opportunity, that you care for them. They've never had that opportunity before, so it's just rewarding.
"They're ready to make a change in their life. You see that switch where "Hey, I've made some bad decisions in the past, but this company believes in me and they're giving me a future and they're investing in me when a lot of people wouldn't hire me before." You see it click.
"We've got 300 employees right now and you equate that out, there's 600 people that we're affecting. We're affecting families.
"God gives you different giftings and if you have that business gifting, you can be in a position where you can have an area of influence and affect people positively. What's our role and responsibility in the community? How are we serving, how are we giving back? We're all blessed with all the talents, how do we do something bigger than build a building? I think when you build relationships, that's when people trust you and you talk a little bit more about your faith and what you believe in."
Watch the video of their story here:
See also my blog 'Ten good reasons to hire ex-offenders' which outlines actions you can take on this.
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