Breaking Down Barriers To Employment – Frontier Co-op & Willis Dady Homeless Services
In 2021, Frontier Co-op committed $225,000 over a three-year period to continue their partnership with Willis Dady Homeless Services to identify individuals returning to society who are eager for a second chance or are facing other significant barriers such as homelessness, lack of transportation or extensive work experience, and provide them the resources to overcome these systemic barriers to employment. A 40,000-member-owned herbs, spices, and botanicals cooperative, Frontier’s motto is “Doing Good, Works.”
To address the issues faced by those who are trying to re-enter the workforce (as well as other employees), Frontier works with nonprofit partners to offer: onsite childcare, “second chance” hiring practices, an apprenticeship program, and a transportation program.
The program has made a direct impact on Frontier’s business, solving hiring needs by hiring 20 percent of its production employees through its second chance hiring practices. Frontier’s childcare program serves 73 employees, with 130 children participating. An additional 25 employees use a childcare reimbursement option. When schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frontier Co-op provided a safe, socially-distanced and subsidized Virtual Learning Center for employees’ children to complete their online course work, which was used by 30 children. More than 140 individuals have gone through the apprenticeship program and more than 30 use the bus program each day, which solves the transportation problem that many workers encounter.