re:work training was founded in 2016 by Harrison Horan to combat a staggering lack of diversity in the tech industry. Living in a city as multicultural as Chicago made tech's diversity problem that much more obvious - why don't our workplaces look like our neighborhoods?
Harrison understood that biased and narrow-sighted hiring practices were largely to blame for tech's homogenous workforce - especially for entry-level sales roles. Having worked in software sales, he knew that the necessary skills were teachable and didn't require 3-5 years of relevant work or educational experience. If given the chance and the training, motivated and hard-working individuals from every background could have a successful and gainful career in tech - but the bridge between selective companies and Chicago's diverse talent needed to be built.
re:work began as an experiment. While still working at SaaS company Sprout Social, Harrison began looking for ways to leverage his industry knowledge and network to help get individuals with non-traditional backgrounds jobs in tech sales.
After dozens of successful placements, it became clear that re:work filled a much needed gap for companies looking to become more inclusive and diverse candidates looking for better opportunities.
re:work training CEO Shelton Banks was brought on to manage growth and direct the company's vision in 2018. Also a former sales professional at Sprout Social who grew up on Chicago's South Side, Shelton embodies success through non-traditional means.
Since its founding in 2016, re:work's job placement and training program has empowered 72 individuals and counting with full-time, entry-level sales roles that have high-growth opportunity.
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In 2019, our average candidate salary started at $54,494 base with benefits at some of Chicago's top tech companies. Full-time employment and the opportunity to grow in a meaningful career opens up a world of possibilities for our candidates and their loved ones.
To date, our candidates have produced a total of $3,267,487 in income that is reinvested in their families, neighborhoods, and ultimately the Chicago community as a whole.
Our team, corporate partners, and candidates are all proof that it only takes one to lead. It only takes one company to pave the way to a more diverse workforce, and it only takes one candidate to jumpstart their career and become a positive role model for the people in their lives.
re:work is building the bridge between tech and Chicago’s underrepresented talent, changing the face of tech, and lifting up our communities one success story at a time.
Thank you to everyone who continues to make our work possible.
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90% of our candidates identify as African-American or Latinx and come from Chicago's South and West Sides. They represent the thousands of capable Chicago residents who are unemployed, underemployed, or turned away from meaningful work due to outdated and inherently biased educational and experience expectations.
In 2019, we placed 58% of candidates who came through our program. This included David Hobbs, who now works as a Sales Development Rep for award-winning customer review software company ReviewTrackers. Watch his story.
representing chicago's south & west sides.
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expert led training, proven methods.
re:work training'sfree 8- week tech sales empowerment curriculumis developing diverse candidates for next-level opportunities. The goal of our curriculum is for candidates to exceed sales and company-wide expectations. We take a holistic approach to developing talent. We teach candidates how to develop a growth mindset, learn sales processes, best practices in skills like cold calling and email cadence, enterprise sales tools, and business acumen.
In 2019, we adopted a more data-driven approach to training our candidates with AI-based skills assessment software donated to re:work byHireVue. Their team created a sales-specific assessment model tailored to our program that helps us pinpoint what areas our candidates need help with the most using artificial intelligence.
In 2020, we will also be incorporating sales enablement platformShowpadto deliver a blended learning approach with the industry leading training and coaching software.
Year Old Diverse Candidates
Hours of Professional Development/cohort
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re:work training by the numbers.
The majority of our funds comes from a single private investor who has helped us create re:work's proof of concept and scale our impact. We know our program works, and contributions like these help us continue to improve outcomes for candidates, as well as our community.
Through our skilled volunteer coaches and donations of resources like laptops and software from our corporate partners, we've managed to maintain low program costs. These contributions help us keep our program free to candidates. The largest part of our expenses include administrative costs, or the combined cost of re:work's internal recruiting, empowerment, placement, and support efforts for our candidates.
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From candidate selection, to training, to measuring our effectiveness, everything we do is data-driven. Here are three numbers that indicate we were headed in the right direction in 2019.
64% of our candidates were placed in full-time software sales roles in 2019. In 2020, we aim to empower 70% of re:work candidates, meaning that they will achieve full-time work or go back to school.
Our candidates' placement salaries in 2019 totaled over $1.7M. That money empowers both our candidates to invest in themselves, their aspirations, and their communities.
For every dollar invested in re:work's program, $3.05 was returned to Chicago's South & West Sides via candidates' salaries. This metric counts candidates' 1st year salaries only.
Social Return on Investment
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companies investing in diversity.
Our work would not be possible without forward-thinking companies who understand the importance of an inclusive workforce. Our corporate partners represent some of the biggest names in tech and SaaS.
In 2019, we were happy to bring onLinkedIn,DocuSign,Pinterest, andShopify as corporate partners.
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LinkedInhas been a critical corporate partner in 2019, donating their time, talent, and treasure to re:work's mission of reshaping hiring trends for underrepresented communities.
Members of LinkedIn's Chicago sales team are also some of re:work's biggest champions both on and offline, spreading the word about our mission, leading program courses about optimizing your LinkedIn profile and using the tool to prospect both potential employers and clients, and mentoring candidates. The #1 online professional network also donated free LinkedIn premium subscriptions to help candidates with the job search.
LinkedIn has also opened their doors to current and prospective candidates, supporters, and alumni. In 2020, LinkedIn will continue co-hosting learning seminars for re:work's community to continue bridging the gap between tech and Chicago's underrepresented residents.
Part of LinkedIn's efforts to diversify tech also included a $15,000 grant to re:work through their Social Impact program. The program focuses on creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, particularly job seekers facing barriers to a meaningful career.
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individuals investing in diversity.
Our coaches include former re:work alum and leaders in software sales dedicated to training re:work candidates and providing the resources necessary for them to succeed in tech. Here are just a few of our awesome volunteers. Click on our trainers' headshots to follow them on LinkedIn.
Business Dev Rep
Sales Dev Rep
Customer Success Manager
Sr. Account Executive
One of our biggest supporters, Katelyn Botts,has served as both a coach and mentor for re:work candidates since the very beginning. She has invested hundreds of hours listening to and helping candidates own their stories, offering critical insight on navigating the tech workplace, training on resume and interview prep, and helping our team improve strategy and delivery of the re:work training program.
As Katelyn puts it, everyone has a story that is deserving of opportunity. Volunteers like her help us reshape biased hiring practices for a more inclusive workforce and a more empowered Chicago community. Listen to her reason for being a re:work volunteer.
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staff & board of directors.
CEO, Board Member
Support & Development Manager
Social Media Coordinator
Photographer & Videographer
re:work Founder | Sales Ops @redox
SVP of Sales
Every member of our staff and Board of Directors believes in creating opportunity for diverse job candidates and Chicago's underrepresented communities. We live that concept everyday.
re:work's community is quickly expanding, and we want you to be part of it. Whether you're a company looking to diversify your workplace or a single individual looking to make an impact, we have a way for everyone to get involved.
how you can get involved.
Become a re:work coach and volunteer your time training our candidates on resume building, interviewing best practices, and the latest sales methodology. Click here to learn how.
If you work in sales, recruiting, business strategy & development, or operations, we can use your valuable insight to improve our program and core processes for candidates and corporate partners alike. Click here to join the team.
Donating to re:work helps empower our candidates, their families, neighborhoods, and our city. Every dollar invested in re:work returns $3.05 to underrepresented communities. Donate now.
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thank you to our contributors that help us change lives.
Our donors are people like you who see the value in re:work training's program and want to make an impact on the lives of Chicago's underrepresented residents.
Each of the following contributors allow us to continue delivering a free, comprehensive job training program to candidates: