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Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Denver Office of Economic Development

Reverse Recruitment Joint Project

Community Challenge/Problem

Sadly, virtually all workforce centers have at some point been through the challenge of groups of workers in their area losing jobs through layoffs, business acquisitions, and plant/office relocation. Working with the employer, Denver Workforce can react quickly to provide training, assessments and job search support for displaced workers. Obviously in a major metro area like Denver, a large employer reducing their workforce is a loss for families, businesses, and local tax revenues throughout the region, not just in one county.

Board Solution/Innovation

Denver's neighbors to the southeast and northeast, Arapahoe/Douglas Works and Adams County Workforce Development, were already working collaboratively when they reached out to Denver Workforce Development to improve peer-to-peer communications and particularly notifications in advance of these devastating mass job losses. Such cooperation toward shared goals starts with mutual respect, personal relationships, and trust. In this instance, thanks to improved communications, upon learning that a block of financial services workers were about to be laid off by JP Morgan Chase, the three counties were able to quickly devise a reverse recruitment event to help place workers in jobs before they had to collect any unemployment benefits.

Outcomes & Results

Thanks to relationships and marketing efforts across three counties, 14 metro-area businesses came to JP Morgan Chase to interview affected workers, mainly financial services professionals with experience in mortgage and loan processing. Of the 40 workers who attended, 30 were hired - a 75% placement rate. This reverse hiring initiative saved taxpayers $195,000 by eliminating the need to pay unemployment benefits to these 30 workers.* In addition, since the average earnings in this industry are $82,205/year per worker, the community did not lose out on $2.5 million in demand for goods and services.

* Based on average of $250/week in unemployment benefits for 26 weeks (average duration of unemployment nationally is currently 36.9 weeks).

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