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The Center for Open Hiring at Greyston – Driving an Inclusive Economy for AllDonate
Open Hiring fills jobs without judging applicants or asking any questions. It creates opportunities for those who have been kept out of the workforce. That includes women, men, people of color, people of all faiths and sexual orientations, immigrants and refugees, those living in poverty or who have spent time in prison, and anyone else who has faced barriers to employment. When organizations practice Open Hiring, they upend traditional hiring practices by shifting spending from screening people out to investment in support of employee success.
Our Open Hiring Model includes partnerships with community programs that provide employees with the services they need to succeed. Where traditional HR departments focus more narrowly on job requirements and performance indicators, we focus on the person. We help employees find ways to remove any obstacles to job success. That could mean anything from finding quality child care to accessing safe housing. We partner with each employee to define their career and life goals and then provide access to the supports and services they need to reach them.
Yonkers is New York’s fourth largest city with a population of 70,000. Its socio-economic makeup varies considerably—ranging from affluence in the northern region to conditions of hardship in the Southwest, where Greyston is located.
Southwest Yonkers was once a thriving industrial area, but its economy declined over the 20th century. Several large employers left the area resulting in few opportunities for those living there. Deep segregation during that era coupled with housing and school crises led to an isolated, marginalized community that has lived in poverty for generations.
Over the past decade, the area has seen new residential developments, a waterfront cleanup, new parks and other green initiatives. However, alongside these positive improvements, Southwest Yonkers has many challenges to overcome.
More than 34% of people in the neighborhood live below the poverty line, education levels fall below the state average, and the rate of violent crime is higher. Poor health is also an issue with a preventable hospitalization rate that far exceeds averages for the state and county. Unemployment is close to two percent higher than the national average and almost double the national rate for youth aged 16 – 24.
Despite this reality, the residents of Southwest Yonkers have shown determination to overcome these challenges. Greyston is proof of that. Together we are charting a path to economic and social stability. We see our role as shining a light on the opportunities along that path. Time and again, our participants demonstrate that they have the strength, intelligence, and ability to find their way to success.