Last week, The Rockefeller Foundation honored three small businesses for their innovations in youth hiring strategies—LiveWatch Security in St. Marys, Kansas; Precision Body & Paint in Beaverton, Oregon; and Sharp Decisions in New York City. The Rockefeller Foundation believes employers can play a leading role in helping more disadvantaged youth get on a career path that leads to increased lifetime earnings and more financial security for their families.
These three small businesses have developed business models that leverage the unique advantages that youth bring to a business. In doing so, they have achieved positive financial returns that make their strategies attractive for other businesses to replicate. As a result, they have benefited their communities by creating sustainable social change. By using these strategies as models for success, companies throughout the country can improve their bottom line while promoting a stronger and more resilient workforce that employs more poor or vulnerable young workers.
The Rockefeller Foundation will work with private sector stakeholders, such as local chambers of commerce, to share information on the models through which these businesses have achieved both profits and social impact through youth employment. This will include a series of mini-documentaries about the businesses and the communities they have impacted.
The Rockefeller Foundation believes that our nation’s business community can leverage its innovation capacity to create positive social change, just as we have seen in Africa. And it’s not just major businesses that can innovate for profit and social impact. Indeed, in the United States small businesses create nearly half of all jobs. Our honoring these small businesses in three different parts of the U.S. is just another way that The Rockefeller Foundation is innovating to drive impact.