Many corporations have broad commitments to Social Responsibility. This ranges from their environmental efforts of lowering energy costs and providing natural products to providing donations and employee time to worthwhile community causes. Perhaps one of the greatest impacts a corporation can have on their community and society is through their hiring practices. Providing benefits, promotion and training opportunities, and family-friendly workplaces can be very significant. All of these practices are reported and analyzed in corporate public information press releases and newsletters.
Helping the Community at Large
The impact on society when a low-income, vulnerable population gets employed is tremendous and it is largely overlooked in Corporate Responsibility Reports. Most significant is the impact a company has when it hires individuals who have been in the variety of publicly supported systems. Those in the criminal justice system, on public assistance, food stamps, child support, and social security disability, living in public housing, the homeless and those on Medicaid can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to the taxpayer. The public dollars do not capture the ripple effects of the costs to children and families, the increase in crime, and the breakdown in communities.
Corporations that provide young people and adults from these populations with employment training and career pathways create a vast social impact on communities and society. The Work First Foundation has developed an assessment tool to analyze the social and fiscal impact of companies who target their hiring towards vulnerable populations. This assessment tool demonstrates the return on the investment in savings to the local community and to society at large. The model analyzes both the costs savings in public dollars and the return on investment to the local community.