In February, the team at Merchandise Warehouse met with a number of community organizations (Brookside Community Church, Edna Martin Christian Center, Step Up, Homeless Initiative Program) as well as other local leaders, to discuss the shrinking labor pool in Indianapolis. Perhaps the key to successful recruiting is to find an overlooked pool of talent that until recently have been considered un-hireable: the “at risk” workforce.

An “at risk” worker is someone who has been previously incarcerated, homeless, generational poor, a single parent on welfare, certain veterans, or someone who is socially, racially, or economically disadvantaged; therefore deeming them a “hiring risk” for an employer.

At Merchandise Warehouse, because of our commitment to social responsibility on behalf of our community and our diverse workforce, we’ve taken this risk, hired these people, and the results surprised even us.

Our collective teams are currently in the works of coming up with a new workforce development model for this labor pool. Stay tuned over the next couple of months for more information on the effort and how you may get involved.