The American Dream

Posted by washcycle on August 26, 2015

I had been intrigued by Wash Cycle Laundry’s hiring policy, how Wash Cycle Laundry works with its hiring partners and what the challenges are hiring from vulnerable population. From my experience with the career development workshops, and conversations that happened in the office between the market leader and the front line management team, I consider Wash Cycle Laundry a unique employer. To learn more about triple bottom line mission, I asked Gabe if I could have a conversation with him about our hiring policy, process, and follow-up. I was then offered to attend the board meeting at Philadelphia Work with Gabe that week.

On our way to the board meeting, Gabe shared his vision for the mission, and what he wants and sees as the solution, and challenges Wash Cycle Laundry faces in the hiring process. Like I said in one of my blog posts, hiring someone from the vulnerable population at Wash Cycle Laundry goes beyond handing out paychecks. At times, employers do have the option to ignore challenges employees face outside of the professional world. However, challenges outside of work do influence employee’s work performance. With triple bottom line mission, Wash Cycle Laundry tries its best to understand, to accommodate, and encourages its employees to be proactive when things happen. However, is that enough for employees to feel that they are given a shot at the American Dream? What are some resources

Sitting in the board meeting at Philadelphia Work, I was stunned to learn that the questions I have appeared to be on a lot of employers’ mind. There is no roadmap for employers like Wash Cycle Laundry. According to the data released by Philadelphia Work, the employment opportunities for the vulnerable are still scarce. However, there are systematic structures that lead to complexities of the problem, such as the public policy for hiring from previously incarcerated population, stigmas about the vulnerable population that put employers in potential risks, Moreover, the question of “What’s next after hiring” has no definite answer. How to create a process that supports individuals and what are the metrics for measuring successful hires?

I don’t think anyone has answers to all of the above questions; nor do I think there is an obvious solution. Creating upward mobility involves many steps and many efforts, but I am hopeful. With more employers like Wash Cycle Laundry joining the movement, engaging in conversations, and being willing to experiment in order to find the solution, I think we are approaching an answer.