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Second Chances

Activate Workforce Solutions

Story

What can we do about people with barriers to employment who are excluded from the economy?

You can help employers AND employees, see the untapped potential they bring to the table.  Helen Hayes founded a placement firm in Denver to unlock the hidden talents of overlooked and undervalued workers trapped in the cycle of poverty.  Activate Workforce Solutions coaches and places clients into full-time, full-benefit, living-wage jobs that offer long-term career opportunities

Guided Reflection

Reflecting on the Story

  • What hiring lessons might you/your company learn from AWS’s story?
  • When we acknowledge the inherent dignity of each person as created in the image of God, how will that shape our wage policy?
  • What responsibility do companies have for the wages they pay? How is this different from letting “the market” determine what wages should be?

Connecting to your Work

  • How should the Biblical command to care for those at the margins– i.e., widows, orphans and foreigners– get translated in today’s business context?
  • What examples of “caring for the least of these” have you seen in business?
  • To what extent does hiring at your company exhibit a “hunt for overlooked and undervalued potential”?
  • If you did an audit of your company’s hiring practices, what would you conclude about how it honors the image-bearing nature of people?
  • What should a company do if they cannot afford to pay a “living wage”?

Personal Application

  • When YOU look at co-workers, do you see them as souls? Why/why not?  What would help you remember to do this?
  • How might YOU be more vocal or pro-active in taking responsibility for systemic injustice?

Read: Corey Latta’s “My son’s Down Syndrome showed me the real Imago Dei” in Christianity Today.

Read: Jerry Blassingame’s “The Least of These” from Christianity Today. He describes the needs of formerly-incarcerated people—including the need for employment.

Lord, Thank you for creating us in your image and likeness.  Help me to see your likeness in all those I meet.  Teach me to treat people as souls.  Enable me to speak up when I witness systems and structures of injustice.  I want to be part of your restorative justice in the world. Amen