A solution to America’s labor shortage and injustice is hiding in plain sight

American companies are in trouble. As unemployment rates drop, companies are scrambling to fill the void More than 10 million Open jobs. But many are looking in the wrong places. The most promising solution to this great commercial challenge is to hide in plain sight.

More than 30 million people in the United States Ability employed but being ignored – whether because they were once incarcerated, have a disability, are immigrants or refugees, or for other reasons. An increasing number of workers facing employment barriers like these have found jobs with them social enterprise recruitment A growing movement of income-generating commercial and non-profit companies that train and hire traditionally excluded workers and put them on paths of economic mobility.

Takes Pioneer Humanitarian ServicesAnd The Seattle-based airline industry resource that employs people who have previously been incarcerated, as well as recovering workers who need substance abuse treatment, housing, work skills, and income. Pioneer provides on-the-job training and work experience to more than 10,000 people annually. As an aerospace manufacturer, Pioneer collaborates with major companies such as The Boeing Company to produce aircraft parts and is ranked in the top 1% of Boeing suppliers for quality and delivery.

Other comprehensive labor companies include Annie Canons, a digital commerce company on a mission to turn survivors of human trafficking and gender-based violence into software engineers, and year up, which links employers to “opportunity youth” – teens and young adults who have dropped out of school and work.

new search From Business for Impact from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Just Results shows how social employment organizations like these are putting excluded populations at work and on pathways to economic mobility.

While government workforce education programs have similar goals, most public initiatives lack two key factors for success. SOEs generate revenue by selling goods and services and reinvesting that revenue to help their employees advance and earn their employees a salary while they receive on-the-job training and other forms of support that remove obstacles to sustainable employment. Georgetown’s research shows that social institutions of employment are uniquely effective in helping excluded workers get jobs, keep them, and ultimately move up the career and income ladder.

Conversely, government programs are lacking in most social employment institutions Scale: Social Employment Organizations today reach only a fraction of the potential workers identified in Georgetown’s research.

The golden opportunity for American employers seeking to fill all those open positions is to take advantage of and expand the social institutions of employment. Doing so could make millions of people excluded Wants To achieve their fair chances while closing the employment gap for employers looking for talent.

What can companies do to help expand and grow social employment organizations?

Corporate leaders can start by hiring more workers from social employment organizations, as well as getting more products and services through their supply chains. Take Bank of America, which has employed more than 1,800 talented young employees year up. Bank of America also employs 300 people with intellectual disabilities through internal marketing and implementation processes, Support Services. Leveraging the purchasing power of its supply chain, German software company SAP allocates 5 percent of its spending on procurement to social enterprises and diversified businesses, purchasing products ranging from hand-washing soap to food and beverages for its affiliate coffee shops.

Policy leaders can also help by expanding access to social enterprise solutions to employment. Progress is already underway in California, where the charitable project Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) Established Coalition Together (RESET) Social Enterprise Recruitment for Employment. RESET members successfully invited legislation To define social employment institutions in state labor law – a necessary prerequisite for increasing public investment. It also secured a $150 million government investment in Caltrans’s highway clean-up initiative while creating jobs for thousands of workers who overcome employment barriers and connecting them to higher-paying public and private sector jobs.

To solve large and complex challenges such as today’s labor shortage and long-term economic inequality, leadership from both the private and public sectors is required. while pPolicy reform takes time, and companies can pivot quickly to find the workers they need now.

Social enterprises for employment offer a ready-made pool of talent that has been hiding in plain sight. Let’s invest in expanding it and getting everyone in America to work.

Leslie Crutchfield, Executive Director of Business for Impact at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, and Carla Javits, CEO of REDF (Roberts Enterprise Development Fund), collaborated on the study of the new workforce at Georgetown University, Jobs for everyone.

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