In July 2021, RTI International (Research Triangle International) completed a study on behalf of REDF (Roberts Enterprise Development Fund) evaluating four Employment Social Enterprises (ESEs) located across the country, including Central City Concern’s social enterprise programs, Clean Start and Central City Staffing.
Q: What is Clean Start good at?
A: Helping people that have unfortunate circumstances get a fresh start and become a better person.
Anonymous Clean Start trainee
What is an Employment Social Enterprise (ESE)?
ESEs are mission-driven businesses focused on hiring and assisting people who face barriers to work. By developing workers’ skills, ESEs aim to help workers achieve sustained employment, earn more money, and improve the quality of their lives, in ways such as attaining stable housing and having employer-sponsored health care.
How the Study Worked
CCC was one of four ESEs studied. People participating in CCC’s Clean Start and Central City Staffing (the “ESE group”) were compared to other people (the “comparison group”) who were very similar to them, except that they did not work for an ESE. The comparison group consisted of people who attended a CCC employment orientation and opted for other employment services through the CCC Employment Access Center to assist them in finding employment in the community.
All study participants were surveyed at intake, as well as 18 months later, when their ESE work and training had been completed. The ESE group was also given a survey during and after the program.
The survey given during the program focused on the way ESE workers perceived their ESE experience and how prepared they felt for future work.
- 91.5% of Clean Start trainees agreed or strongly agreed with “Because of my experiences at Clean Start/Clean & Safe, I feel more in control of my life.”
- 97.1% of Clean Start trainees agreed or strongly agreed with “I feel like Clean Start/Clean & Safe is giving me the skills and tools I need to be successful in future jobs.”
- 93.2% of Central City Staffing trainees agreed or strongly agreed with “My experience working at On-Call Staffing increases my sense of ability and self-esteem.”
- 95.9% of Central City Staffing trainees agreed or strongly agreed with “I think the program has given me the skills to succeed in a job outside of this program.”
These are just a few of the questions where Central City Concern’s social enterprise programs scored higher than the average of all ESEs.
Q: What is Central City Staffing good at?
A: Giving us a second chance and treating us with respect and listening to our needs.
Anonymous Central City Staffing trainee
CCC had the most pronounced result in employment among the four ESEs studied. Eighteen months after intake, there was a 17-percentage point difference between the ESE group and the comparison group.
CCC social enterprise programs showed consistent benefits for workers’ housing stability, with a 24-percentage point difference between the ESE group and the comparison group for those currently living in stable housing. 74% of the ESE group were currently living in stable housing.
The CCC ESE group was 7 percentage points less likely to have been arrested in the last 18 months than the comparison group.
If you want to support CCC’s work building people’s lives through our Clean Start program and Central City staffing, please consider making a donation.