Employment for At-Risk Populations

Dwayne Ross Human Service Training and Staff Development for Agencies that serve the community and improve the Human Condition. 

What is At-Risk?  At Risk for What?  Employment for at Risk Populations need not be a difficult task. So many workforce professionals try to fit people in the job instead of finding jobs that people have a natural affinity to be successful.  It’s a one case at a time approach based upon the gifts, talents and abilities as a foundation. The workshop challenged the attendees to make a positive contribution to the over all bottom line of any company while virtually eliminating the old stigmas, and attitudes associated with job development. Everyone was challenged to learn how to help those considered as at-risk, solve the problems for business owners, which will lead to employment or business development opportunities. Over 20 attendants came to share and gather a tool for their tool box with regards to working with challenging populations.


In today’s economic climate many companies are hiring people who are not only capable of meeting the job description but employers are also looking for generalist who can use their transferable skills to enhance the position they are hired into. With countless millions out of work, the market has become very competitive. In the past many companies would hire a person based upon personality match… but those days are far behind us. Employers are looking for the person who can “do it all”… Ability based.  

KEY: Companies that hire high risk people groups, like welfare recipients, ex-offenders, high school drop-outs, long term unemployed, Individuals with “diff-Abilities” even our wounded veterans face the potential risk that the individuals may be less productive or less skilled than other employees. It is hoped that by indentifying the abilities and focusing on the person not the risk, as well as tapping into governmental wage subsidies will compensate employers for this risk, (such as a tax credit) while providing at-risk populations the opportunity to develop new skills, enhance current abilities and experience necessary to secure long-term, unsubsidized employment.

Four keys to success for working with this population are;

Be Open!

Be Honest!

Be Supportive!

Be a Strategist!

Embracing the needs of your prospective employee allows you to create a team approach to employ-ability success.  It’s time to have an Encounter.  If you want to make a positive impact on the life of another who has major challenges then perhaps you may want to consider using what I call, EMPACT. 

Encounter, Motivation, Persuade, Answer, Commit and Track the results. The EMPACT process is designed to move the person from thinking about the barrier into a a strategic approach to moving through the barrier.  This approach challenges the specialist to focus on the outcome, desires and dreams instead of what they see or know about the person. If you get too focused on what the case file says about the person you may be tempted to make adjustments based upon biases, your own personal limitations and who knows what else. It’s not about You! it’s all about the individual.

The person you are working with. There are three things you may want to consider as you put this process into play… Will you Carve a place in the employment world with this person? Customize an opportunity? or Create something? It’s possible you may need to do all three until you get to the place where the person is at his or her place of employment or doing his or her Work!

 So is work the same thing as a Job?  

     Let’s talk about that in the next post!  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,