Indeed, one of the world’s most active job sites, is spending $10 million on its recently launched Essentials to Work initiative. The company has created the program to help job seekers with barriers to employment, with a special emphasis on those in re-entry.
“Our mission as a business is to help all people get jobs, and the social impact team has made some very public commitments about what we want to accomplish as an organization,” says Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, senior director, social impact programs & partnerships. “We intend to help 30 million jobseekers facing barriers get hired by 2030. There are so many barriers, but we have made the conscious decision to think about jobseekers who are impacted by the criminal justice system. This is a priority for us.”
A variety of resources
According to her, the most important thing the company can offer is the Indeed job site, but it wants to provide much more than that. “Our most powerful tool is our platform, and that’s the number one way we can help. But we also wanted to supplement it with resources, because many people out there don’t have the basic tools to look for a job.”
The company has identified three areas that are crucial to the success of job seekers with previous justice system involvement — access to technology, transportation and legal services. And it is partnering with companies and nonprofit organizations to carry out this mission.
Since the program was launched in February, Indeed has already helped more than 1 million job seekers facing barriers get jobs. These barriers include not having a college degree, having a background of long term unemployment, or being a military veteran or an individual who was formerly incarcerated.
Investing in internet access, transportation and record clearing
Here’s where most of the $10 million will go:
Internet access – The company is investing $5 million in a partnership with PCs for People, a national nonprofit, to provide 10,000 computers and mobile hotspots to those needing them. It will also use the money to connect public housing properties to wi-fi networks. Most of these computers are being distributed by Goodwill and some of Indeed’s other partner organizations. But some are available directly through PCs for People. Those who think they might qualify should visit the partnership website and use the code INDEEDESSENTIALS at checkout.
Record clearance – Indeed has earmarked $2.5 million to offer legal record-clearing services to job seekers with previous arrests or convictions who are eligible for expunction or nondisclosure. Organizations receiving funding include East Bay Community Law Center (CA), Cabrini Green Legal Aid (IL), Georgia Justice Project, Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana, Texas Fair Defense Project, Beacon Law (TX), Legal Aid Society of New York, Community Legal Services (PA) and Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. In addition, Checkr.com will provide technology-based solutions to job seekers who need help clearing their records.
Transportation – Through a $1.5 million partnership with Lyft and its Lyft Job Access Program , Indeed covers transportation for job seekers who need transportation to job training programs, interviews or during the first two weeks of a new job.
Although it only launched Essentials to Work early this year, Indeed has laid the groundwork to ensure that those who have barriers to employment will have a better opportunity to secure a job. And hopefully as many people as possible can take advantage of what the company has to offer.