CareerRise Implements a National Best Practice in Atlanta

Atlanta CareerRise

Atlanta CareerRise builds employer-led workforce partnerships in high-growth industries to fill jobs, close the skills gap and move underemployed individuals up the career ladder.

Atlanta CareerRise is driven by employers with specific needs for middle-skill workers. This nationally proven model leads to more effective workforce development by:

•Providing employers with well-trained, more productive personnel;

•Moving employees into jobs with a sustainable living wage; and

•Reducing the community’s need for public benefits and increasing the tax base.

The organization’s unique approach begins with connecting employers within the same sector to address common workforce needs. Atlanta CareerRise was formed in 2011 with investments from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and six local funding partners to implement a nationally-recognized model of workforce development in the 13-county Greater Atlanta region.

The approach is a funder collaborative that invests in career support for low-skilled individuals through robust and long-standing partnerships with employers in high growth industry sectors. The regional collaborative serves the needs of both employers and employees, and facilitates capacity-building, supportive policies, and systems change – resulting in a more accessible workforce development system for low-skilled workers.

With support from nine funders, it has raised over 2.1 million in funding since inception. Atlanta CareerRise’s initial industry focus is healthcare services. In the Metro Atlanta area, eleven of the top 15 fastest growing occupations through 2018 are in healthcare, and all require an associate’s degree or less for entry.

Its first investment in April 2012 into the Healthcare Careers Partnership led by WellStar Health System, expanded model Career Development Center for existing entry-level employees and established a pipeline for job seekers to receive support for entry level openings in partnership. By January 2014, the partnership had served 53 incumbent employees and about 150 job seekers.

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In December 2013, after a six month intensive planning process, a second partnership was launched with the Grady Health System to prepare unemployed residents of the Atlanta BeltLine for entry level openings at Grady. The Atlanta BeltLine is the most comprehensive urban redevelopment project ever undertaken in the city of Atlanta, linking 45 intown neighborhoods through a 22 mile rail corridor.

CareerRise has invested into healthcare partnerships with six participating hospitals, three workforce boards, and community partners providing work readiness and coaching.

Atlanta CareerRise has moved beyond the healthcare sector, investing in March 2014 in an Electronic Workforce Alliance in partnership with a cluster of 14 employers in northeast Atlanta to provide electronics assembly training and industry credentials to both unemployed and incumbent individuals. Over 5,000 work in this industry in this region.

A logistics partnership is in planning phase in the Southern Crescent area surrounding the Hartsfield-Jackson airport, the world’s busiest. Atlanta, an intermodal raid, road and air hub, anchors Georgia’s 12,300 logistics service providers. The state ranks No. 5 nationally in logistics employment.

CareerRise’s Results

● Invested in first healthcare partnership in April 2012 with WellStar Health System, Cobb Works and the Atlanta Regional Workforce Board, which has served 53 incumbent employees and over 150 job seekers. Over 50% of its first incumbent cohort enrolled in additional education following the intervention, and 100% are still employed at WellStar.

● Developed planning process that led to the successful launch of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s’s first workforce initiative with seven partners and Grady Health System, a 900+ bed urban hospital.

● Analyzed frontline employment challenge with four health systems representing about 25,000 employees.

● Organized industry-led Electronics Workforce Alliance with 14 employers to provide basic soldering and industry-recognized credentials to incumbent employees and job seekers.

● Seeded regional Workforce Development Registry project launched in 2014 to identify more than 600 service providers and identify opportunities to strengthen network connections.

● Secured over $2.1 Million in funding. Investors include Annie E. Casey Foundation/Atlanta Civic Site, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Trust, Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, JPMorgan Chase, National Fund for Workforce Solutions, United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation.