What makes Memphis ripe for a program like Hope 2 Hire?

A program like Hope 2 Hire can be implemented in prisons around the world and see success. But what makes Memphis a prime candidate for this program? Simply put – there is a multifaceted need. That’s why in the program’s first year, we’ve seen a graduate employment rate 40% higher than the national average. Below, you’ll find the reasons why programs like Hope 2 Hire are essential to community evolution.

Incarcerated Citizens

With about 4,892 citizens incarcerated in the Shelby County jails, there is a massive piece of the workforce that is missing. Simultaneously, the homebuilding industry in West Tennessee needs an additional 1,700 workers. And that’s just the opportunity in one industry. With the help of our partners – HopeWorks, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Workforce Investment Network and Shelby County Division of Corrections – we are able to provide inmates an opportunity to meaningfully engage with careers, not just finding jobs, after their release. Our goal is to help reduce the recidivism rate in Memphis, and we can’t do that without the courage of inmates and help of our partners.

Our Partners

HopeWorks, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Workforce Investment Network and Shelby County Division of Corrections go above and beyond to help incarcerated Memphians, and we couldn’t do what we do without their assistance. The post-release process requires help from multiple organizations to ensure that recently released citizens have all required documents, transportation to job interviews, job placement and much more. The work of our partners represents infrastructure support for holistic reentry programming. However, Hope 2 Hire and like programs represent only one piece of the rehabilitative puzzle. You have to have partner organizations willing to carry the torch, and those organizations are strong in Memphis.

Our Community

Businesses and citizens in Memphis are invested in our city’s growth and evolution. Without the constant support of hiring managers, businesses and friends, recently incarcerated individuals would not be able to garner the success that they have. Living in a community that believes in second chances yields a community that allows its citizens to thrive – no matter where they come from. Our community embraces its past and continues to move forward to help others provide a healthy, successful life for themselves and their families.

Yes, a program like ours could succeed in other cities, but Memphis stands out because of the amount of care and compassion shown day in and day out.

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