CLEVELAND — "It's your first choice for a second chance."
That's the slogan for the people behind Achieve Staffing, powered by Towards Employment. With more than 40 years of combined experience, the two organizations have teamed up to help people from all walks of life, including those looking for a second chance.
"I was very negative, you know?" recalled Jon, a success story from Achieve Staffing and Towards Employment's efforts. "I was going out the wrong way and now I'm back on track. ... I'm doing good."
In 2021, the organizations combined to help more than 100 Clevelanders like Jon get a second chance.
"We provide case management to help them address any employment barriers they may be faced with whether it's housing, whether it's child care, whether it's substance abuse," Ronnie Cannon, Toward Employment's community engagement manager, said.
The program is open to Cuyahoga County residents and young adults ages 18-24 who are looking to better their lives. That includes those who may have committed a crime in the past.
In most cases, according to Cannon, it's often outside factors that lead to gaps in people's employment history.
"If a a person is having challenges with their employment opportunities, it's not the actual job, the job task, or the job duties," Cannon explained. "It's often those outside entities that's kicking in."
Northeast Ohio is currently seeing a need in the manufacturing industry. Thanks to Achieve Staffing and Towards Employment, that's where Jon has seen success.
"I have a wellness certificate," he said excitedly. "I'm going to have a job, and hopefully I'm going to combine both of them together and do things."
Towards Employment is hoping to help even more people, but they’re letting their reputation do the talking.
"We utilize other former participants to kind of be our voice for us," Cannon noted.
And the impact is loud and clear.
"To be perfectly honest, Towards Employment lifted me up," Job said as he remembered a difficult time just six years ago, when his mother passed away. "Towards employment is what got me off the couch."
The organizations are dedicated to seeing their participants succeed, no matter what it takes.
"It's not just a temporary fix," Cannon added. "We're in it for the long haul to get individuals connected to careers and not just jobs."
And for employers who may be skeptical about hiring someone with a troubled past, Jon has a strong message.
"We just need that first chance, you know? Just give us a chance," he declared. That's all I ask, that's all I ask, because I need a chance, you know?"
Achieve Staffing powered by Towards Employment is located at 1255 Euclid Avenue, Suite 300. For more information, you can call (216) 282-7335, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to visit their website.
*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report.