A Beacon of Hope for Returning Citizens

As part of an ongoing effort to address the twin challenges of generational poverty and labor shortages, Cincinnati Works is proud to assume operations of the Beacon of Hope Business Alliance, a unique initiative that helps local companies hire, integrate and retain second-chance employees.

Adding Beacon of Hope will expand Cincinnati Works’ services for local employers who are struggling to fill frontline positions, complementing existing services such as pre-employment coaching, on-site interviews, biannual job fairs and on-site coaching (through Workforce Connection).

“This is an opportunity for Cincinnati Works to have an even bigger impact on our community at a time when the need is great – both the social need to end poverty and the commercial need to fill frontline positions,” Cincinnati Works President & CEO Peggy Zink said. “We are uniquely positioned to serve both groups, and Beacon of Hope aligns nicely with our mission and our programs.”

Beacon of Hope was founded in 2015 by Dan Meyer and Richard Palmer, founders of Nehemiah Manufacturing Co., as a way to share the lessons they learned in employing traditionally hard-to-hire individuals – and to encourage more local employers to hire individuals who are returning from prison, addiction treatment or homelessness. Beacon of Hope also provides transportation for some of those individuals as they settle into new jobs.

Cincinnati Works has been a partner in the mission, referring numerous Members for open positions at companies in the Beacon of Hope Business Alliance and providing pre-employment coaching for individuals referred from companies in the business alliance. As Nehemiah has grown, Meyer believed Cincinnati Works was better positioned to oversee Beacon of Hope and incorporate it into their services.

“We are proud of the impact Beacon of Hope has had on our community, and we are excited to see it grow under the leadership of Cincinnati Works,” Meyer said. “Richard and I will continue to advocate for second-chance employment, and we will gladly mentor business leaders who wish to join the Business Alliance and hire returning citizens.”

Beacon of Hope currently has one full-time employee and eight part-time employees. They will become employees of Cincinnati Works.