Community Bridge Builder Program: An Update
It’s always extraordinary to see the community’s endowment at work.
In 2022, the Community Foundation rolled out the new Community Bridge Builders Program, which promotes bold, visionary, and collaborative projects that honor differences between people, promote greater levels of understanding, and enhance civic dialogue.
Learn how the Lancaster Chamber and Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 used this funding to host a round table conversation and offer insights on hiring reentrants as a way to fight stigma and alleviate workforce shortages.
This article by Cris Collingwood was originally featured in Central Penn Business Journal on July 31, 2023.
A Potential Solution to Workforce shortage
Cris Collingwood, for Central Penn Business Journal, July 31, 2023
Could reentrants help alleviate the workforce shortage?
That is a question the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce posed to business owners earlier this summer.
Katharine DeSantis, Lancaster Chamber public policy coordinator, said people reentering the workforce after incarceration could be an untapped resource for employers dealing with the workforce shortage.
The chamber and IU13 Community Education held a Wake Up to the Issues program in February to offer insights on hiring reentrants as a way to fill jobs. The program was funded by the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s Community Bridge Builders grant.
In June, the chamber hosted roundtable discussions for specific industries for a more in-depth conversation around the topic, DeSantis said. About 60 employers participated.
Employers asked questions about the stigma of hiring reentrants, would they steal, how to work with the parole system, and what other employees may feel about reentrants, she said.