June 21, 2021

How Hirewell has been able to stay active in the community during a pandemic


At Hirewell, we’ve always made a concerted effort to be involved in our community. When we did our 2020 kickoff meeting, we formalized things – pledging to contribute 1% of our time and profits towards community events and social good.  It seemed like something that would be easy enough to do – there is no shortage of great causes to donate our time and resources.  

Well, the world changed a bit in March – the economy tanked and people were told to shelter in place. Money for not for profits that need it is a lot less plentiful – and the lack of events has cut off a huge source of fundraising. Due to the need to safety precautions – organizations that rely on volunteers have really struggled.

So what can companies do?  Get creative.  We’ve formed a committee to spearhead community events. They’ve done a great job coming up with ideas that have been very well received.  Here are three that we are proud to partner with – and if your organization is looking for ways to contribute, I’d strongly encourage you to check them out.

  • Greater Chicago Food Depository – You can donate time or money – a key combination we look for. Your company can reserve blocks of time and then individuals sign up.

  • Cradles to Crayons – You can donate time, money, or gently used kids’ items. We did an event there yesterday – the team was great.  They normally have 80 volunteers in their warehouse every day.  But due to Covid, they limit it to 15 to ensure social distancing.

  • Genesys Works – We just had our 4th intern join us from Genesys Works. Lizbeth is a senior at Solorio Academy High School.  Bringing on a High School intern while everyone is remote is a challenge. Corporate participation is down – they had 100 companies for 800 internship applicants.  But it is a great program – and the type of organization that needs to be supported, especially in times like this. 

Does GW sound like a fit for your company? Here is a message I received from my contact – check them out:

Genesys Works is a not-for-profit in 6 cities that trains low-income young adults who are seniors in HS…and places them as an intern in an organization like yours.

You already know that inclusive organizations start with a leader who knows in his heart and mind that diversity matters. You know that creating such a workplace has challenges, but it’s worth the effort because it exposes the organization to a greater pool of talent and talent is everything. And with Genesys Works as your partner…

  • It’s possible to give young adults an opportunity to perform white-collar work while offloading  tasks from your co-workers,

  • And for yourself, the decision-maker…as Dr. King foresaw…bend the moral arc of the universe a little closer to justice.


The results speak for themselves: 100% of our interns are accepted to college. 83% are first-generation college students, and of those that have received a bachelor’s degree…70% are already making more than one parent and 20% are making more than both parents combined. Many come back to work for the same companies at which they interned, which is extraordinary. It means these firms have developed a pipeline of talent consisting of individuals they already know.

We have the support of CPS, which allows these young men and women to take their classes in the a.m. and be at work from 1 to 5, every day of their senior year.

Our next group of young professionals will be ready to begin September 2021.

Training is an 8-week program between Junior and Senior years. It’s intense and time-tested. The tracks are IT, coding, and accounting, so by the time they get to you, they’re nervous, but prepared.

Also know that our interns have been working remotely since March, very successfully – and for companies of all sizes. Only the young professionals that are “remote-internship ready” –are the ones advancing to placements. These young adults are well equipped to produce remotely for as long as needed.  You don’t have to worry about finding work for them because they can do almost anything. They need someone from your company to supervise, but that’s a source of satisfaction for whoever does it, and with the support they receive from Genesys Works’ Program Coordinators, nearly 100% of our internships have been successful from both an employee and employer standpoint.

Please have a look at the attached or this short video

More blogs from Matt Massucci

See all Talent Insights Blog entries....

Our Latest Featured Episode

Our Shows