“Hood to Hire” Addresses the Unemployed and Displaced Workforce.

BELTS ED NFP, a nonprofit corporation specializing in workforce preparedness training for minority and underserved communities, announces the developmental launch of its inaugural pilot program, Hood to Hire (H2H). Covid-19 has had detrimental impacts on the health and viability of Black and Brown communities. These populations have faced demonstrably higher rates of unemployment than their white counterparts. Additionally, those whose employment options limit them to “essential” work functions face a disproportionate risk of exposure to the virus. H2H aims to uplift these communities by creating more positive and equitable outcomes through education, workforce training, and providing hiring opportunities.

The H2H workforce program seeks to solution several generational problems prevalent in underserved minority communities:

  • Health inequities
  • Economic inequities
  • Social inequities
  • Employment inequities
  • Criminal justice inequities

H2H, a twelve-month community-based workforce development pilot, and job placement program, will work with unemployed/underemployed minority youths and displaced workers to disrupt the unemployed-to-prison pipeline and shatter low-wage essential ceilings by cultivating in-demand, marketable skills and positioning participants for immediate hire and future career growth.

H2H Participants will be recruited via local civic leaders, faith leaders, partnering community-based organizations, and guided by seasoned instructors, business leaders, and industry professionals to build knowledge and capacity. The pilot cohort initially focuses on the foodservice industry, a burgeoning hiring market soon to recover from COVID-19 shut-downs. Subsequent cohorts will follow employment market demands. Pilot participants will earn Food Safety certification, become proficient in resume writing and interviewing, practice conflict resolution techniques, and master Microsoft Office Suite and Google Workspace while being paid a weekly stipend. Upon completion of the program, they will then be paired with hiring firms to secure employment. After an initial probationary period, workers can return to H2H to advance train for promotion, thus creating career pathways beyond entry-level essential.

To address longstanding minority and essential health disparities, H2H has also created a learning track dedicated to Covid care. Here, participants will learn workplace safety and PPE guidelines to better protect themselves and their families as they transition into the workforce.

BELTS (Building and Equipping Leaders in Today’s Society) ED NFP, and the H2H pilot initiative is spearheaded by Executive Director, Gloria M. Batey, a Chicago native and community leader who has over twenty years of experience working in educational solutions, technology integration, and change management. Batey has devoted her life to the service and edification of underrepresented populations, and Hood to Hire is the most recent reflection of that commitment.

For information on the anticipated fall launch and enrollment, please contact Gloria M. Batey at  h2h.beltsednfp@gmail.com. If you would like to become a member of the H2H team or support with a donation, please visit their website at https://h2hbeltsnfp.org.


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