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Unlocking Potential, Bridging Communities

Create Second Chances with Sentencing Reform

April is Second Chance Month, a time to reflect as a nation and raise awareness on the importance of second chance opportunities for people returning to their communities from incarceration. As a business owner, a New Yorker, and someone who has been incarcerated, I am a living testament to the value of meaningful second chances. The mistakes I made as a young person did not define me, because there were opportunities for me to succeed and contribute to my community. 

Since my own release, I’ve become a proud community member of NYC
 and the owner of a thriving business that’s all about second chances. At Untapped Solutions, we connect justice-impacted individuals and other folks from marginalized communities to employers and job opportunities, harnessing the potential of traditionally untapped talents to create more diverse, dynamic, and stronger workplaces. Connecting people to quality jobs drives economic growth, reduces recidivism, and promotes social equity by providing meaningful employment opportunities to talented individuals who want to work and take care of their families. 

And I see the opportunity for so many more businesses and our communities overall to benefit from the contributions of formerly incarcerated people if we can pass commonsense sentencing reform this year. New York has not passed meaningful sentencing reform in more than 15 years. Long prison sentences keep people away from their families and locked out of the workforce, without improving public safety. While other states – including Oklahoma and Texas – have passed laws expanding opportunities to reconsider or earn time off sentences, New York has fallen behind. At the same time, many businesses are struggling to hire qualified candidates amidst a persisting workforce shortage. 

New York’s elected leaders have the opportunity to address both of these problems by passing a package of sentencing reforms, including the Earned Time Act (S774/A1128) and the Second Look Act (S321/A531), and the Marvin Mayfield Act  (SS6471A/A2036B). Advancing these policies will help us strengthen our state’s workforce without compromising public safety. 
The Earned Time Act would allow people to earn more time off their sentences for participation in educational and vocational programs that provide them with skills to be ready to rejoin the workforce upon release. The Second Look Act would allow judges to review extremely long sentences to see if a person’s demonstrated rehabilitation means they should be given a reduced sentence, recognizing that people should be given a second chance and that long sentences don’t make us safer. 

Every day, I see how supporting justice-impacted people is better for our community as a whole. Employers who utilize Untapped Solutions often tell us how impressed they are with the commitment and work ethic of the employees they find through our platform. Given the right tools and opportunities, formerly incarcerated individuals want to and can thrive in the workforce. 
Unfortunately, the longer someone stays behind bars, the more they can fall behind modern technology and the job market. Every year locked away makes it exponentially more difficult to reintegrate into the workforce. With these sentencing reforms that can reduce recidivism and increase job skills, we can make impactful change.

Passing sentencing reform will bring valuable community members back to the workforce and continue to prioritize public safety. Business leaders across the state see the value of second chances. Now, it’s up to New York lawmakers to pass these data-backed sentencing reforms to provide meaningful second chances, strengthen our workforce, and make our communities safer. 

Andre Peart is the CEO and Founder of Untapped Solutions, a technology company that empowers employers to connect with and hire talent from underserved communities

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Why Diversity and Inclusion Isn't Just a Buzzword

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) has become more than just a corporate buzzword. It's a powerful catalyst for change within organizations, driving innovation, increasing productivity, and enhancing workplace morale. In this blog, we'll dive deep into the real data that demonstrates how diverse hiring practices go beyond tokenism to deliver tangible business benefits. We'll emphasize the transformative impact of hiring from diverse backgrounds, including the justice-impacted community, and how it can significantly improve business results.

The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion:

Diversity Fosters Innovation 🚀

Innovation is the lifeblood of any successful organization. Diverse teams bring together individuals with different perspectives, experiences, and approaches to problem-solving. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. D&I isn't just a moral imperative; it's a strategic advantage that sparks innovation.

Inclusive workplaces foster a sense of belonging and psychological safety among employees. When people feel valued and respected, they're more likely to be engaged and motivated. A study by Deloitte found that inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market. This enhanced engagement translates into increased productivity, a win-win for both employees and the bottom line.

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Unlocking Organizational Growth: The Power of a Client-Centric CRM

In the dynamic landscape of nonprofit organizations, managing relationships is paramount. Traditionally, many nonprofits have relied heavily on donor management systems to handle their interactions. While these systems are crucial for fundraising, there's an equally vital aspect that deserves attention: the clients themselves, the heart and soul of any nonprofit's mission. 💼💕

The Donor-Driven Dilemma

Donor management systems are incredibly effective at what they do: facilitating donations, tracking contributions, and managing donor relationships. However, they often fall short when it comes to a comprehensive view of the organization's impact. This donor-centric approach can inadvertently sideline the very people nonprofits are dedicated to serving—the clients. 📉🚫

The Client-Centric Shift

In recent years, a paradigm shift has emerged within the nonprofit sector—one that prioritizes the clients and their outcomes. Enter Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems designed specifically with this focus in mind. 🔄📊

Why Prioritize Client-Centric CRMs?

Enhanced Client Engagement: A client-centric CRM goes beyond managing contact information; it tracks each client's journey, including services received, progress made, and areas of improvement. This data enables tailored support and meaningful engagement. 📈🤝

Improved Service Delivery: By centralizing client information, nonprofits can deliver more effective services. With a clear understanding of client needs and progress, organizations can adapt and optimize their programs. 🎯✅

Data-Driven Decision Making: Client-centric CRMs offer comprehensive insights into the impact of programs and services. These data-driven insights empower organizations to make informed decisions, allocate resources efficiently, and demonstrate outcomes to donors. 📈📊📈

Sustainable Growth: Focusing on client outcomes fosters trust and reputation, attracting not only donors but also partnerships and collaborations. A client-centric approach helps nonprofits expand their reach and impact, ultimately leading to more sustainable growth. 🌱🤝🌍

Alignment with Mission: Nonprofits exist to serve their communities and create positive change. A client-centric CRM aligns every aspect of an organization with this core mission, ensuring that efforts are consistently directed toward improving client lives. 🏆❤️

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Amplifying Social Services: Uniting Technology and Compassion for Positive Social Impact

In today's fast-paced world, the integration of technology into social services and nonprofit care coordination is proving to be a game-changer. As we strive to address critical issues like recidivism, homelessness, and mental health, organizations are increasingly leveraging the power of data and innovative technology to make a tangible difference in the lives of those they serve.

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Driving Change Through Tech: The Untapped Solutions Story

In today's fast-paced digital age, where technology touches almost every aspect of our lives, Untapped Solutions is striving to be a shining example of how tech can truly transform communities. For those communities often left in the shadows or overlooked, we see an incredible wealth of potential just waiting to be unlocked. Our core belief? With the right mix of technology and a heartfelt desire to make a difference, we can open doors and create new pathways.

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