Pathways Forward in OC
Chrysalis launched another Roads crew in Orange County this summer. With three crews now serving Caltrans District 12, we are expanding our partnership with the Butte County Office of Education and creating more transitional jobs in the region. This story, and others, are featured in our newsletter.
OUR GROWING EMPLOYMENT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
For three decades, Chrysalis has offered transitional jobs to clients through our employment social enterprise, Chrysalis Enterprises (CE). These opportunities are ideal for individuals who are navigating significant barriers to reconnecting to the workforce. Last year, this $24.7 million business distributed $12.1 million in wages to 1,666 clients working transitional jobs. At Chrysalis, 100% of our clients have experienced economic disadvantages, 72% housing instability, and 58% justice system involvement. A transitional job is a critical steppingstone in our ability to offer our Orange County neighbors a pathway to becoming thriving members of our community.
One of the four divisions of CE is Chrysalis Roads, a program focused on providing freeway maintenance jobs to individuals who have been impacted by the justice system. Since 2016, the program has connected nearly 1,500 Chrysalis clients to meaningful employment beautifying our California roadways and, ultimately, a pathway forward.
Through a partnership with Caltrans and the Butte County Office of Education, we added an additional crew to this program in Orange County this summer.
The addition of another Roads crew in Orange County coincided with the State of California’s announcement of Clean California. This program is a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear cleanup effort to remove trash, create thousands of jobs, and engage communities to transform roadsides and restore pride in public spaces. It is estimated that Clean California will generate 11,000 jobs over three years for veterans, students, people experiencing homelessness, and those re-entering society from incarceration. Chrysalis anticipates that the program will bring more transitional jobs with Chrysalis Roads crews and that many of these workers will go on to jobs with Caltrans.
Chrysalis’ President & CEO Mark Loranger and a Roads Supervisor of an OC-based crew spoke at the Clean California press conference. The Roads Supervisor, Matthew, spoke about the experience that led him to working on his job search with Chrysalis. Navigating depression and homelessness, he believes it was no accident when he noticed our tagline on a Chrysalis Roads van: Changing Lives Through Jobs.
Matthew completed our job readiness program, accessed resume-writing services with a volunteer, and was provided with professional attire for interviews and transportation assistance before being referred to Chrysalis Roads by his Employment Specialist. He went on to be promoted to his current position of Roads Supervisor and is now preparing to leave Chrysalis for a full-time job with Caltrans.
We celebrate that nearly half of our clients left the Roads program to accept a job last year. This is exactly what we were envisioning in 2016, when staff and Board members dedicated nine months to developing a five-year strategic plan to improve and enhance our program and its impact.
Since then, our employment social enterprise has seen a 130% increase in the number of clients employed in transitional jobs.
In addition to the growth of Roads in Orange County, Chrysalis launched a fourth business line earlier this year. Started within Chrysalis Works, Safekeeping is now recognized as its own division within CE. The name Safekeeping is a combination of safe storage and housekeeping. Through this branch, Chrysalis clients are employed as housekeeping, janitorial, and customer service staff members.
We know that clients who have quick access to employment, a paycheck, and an environment in which they can develop critical soft skills and learn from their leadership and peers are more likely to move on to outside employment. Of the 1,623 clients who secured work with an employer outside of our organization in 2020, over 70% retained employment for six months or longer.
Moved by a need to do more and make a difference, Billy came to Chrysalis Orange County ready to support clients navigating barriers to the workforce as a volunteer. Despite having a busy academic schedule, he doubled down on his volunteer hours once the pandemic hit and began volunteering Monday through Friday, doing what he could to help clients on their pathway to self-sufficiency during an unprecedented time.
While conducting practice interviews or assisting clients with their resumes, he makes it his goal to get to know clients outside of who they are on paper. “There are so many brilliant people out there and we are missing out on so many brilliant ideas and amazing contributions by having people trapped in the criminal justice system,” he shares. As a volunteer, he strives to remind clients of the assets they offer to a future employer, despite the background that they often fear will hold them back.
For Billy, volunteering is one aspect of a lifelong commitment he has made to supporting the reentry population and folks with barriers to the workforce. He awaits the day he can celebrate clients in person as they ring the Success Bell and shares, “It is important not only to help clients who come into Chrysalis but to also do whatever we can to build a more equitable society.”
On August 28, 2021, the Chrysalis Orange County Advisory Council (OCAC) hosted the first Cocktails & Conversation, sponsored by Disneyland Resort, The Anaheim Hotel, SoCalGas, and Pizza Press.
Chrysalis supporters, local leaders, and influencers from across the county gathered outside in the garden of the newly renovated Anaheim Hotel to dine, drink, and make new friends. Chrysalis President & CEO Mark Loranger, OCAC Chair and Board member Heather Falcone, and a former Chrysalis client helped kick off the inaugural event with welcomes and speeches
WHERE WE ARE HEADED
A LOOK AT KEY 2021 OUTCOMES
Achieved (✔) and in Progress (⏳):
✔ Supported more than 130 Orange County clients find employment.
✔ Raised $80,000 toward our COVID Response & Recovery campaign, including over $30,000 raised on our annual online day of giving, The Future is Working.
✔ Launched another Roads crew bringing the total number of crews to three in Orange County.
⏳ Safely and intentionally increase in-person services at our centers and locations across Southern California.
⏳ Train and transition 170 staff members from our Chrysalis Enterprises, Client Services, and Strategy & External Relations teams over to a new Salesforce database.
⏳ Help 220 Orange County clients secure employment by the end of 2021.
⏳ Conclude our current five-year strategic plan.
Chrysalis’ mission is to help our clients, the majority of whom are Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color (BIPOC) and have been impacted by systemic injustices to navigate barriers to the workforce. In 2020, Chrysalis made a public commitment to standing in solidarity with those fighting against racial inequities in the wake of anti-Black violence across the country.
Though our work is centered around direct services, we recognized that we had not just an opportunity but an obligation to advocate for social justice. We knew we could do more for our community and with guidance from Chrysalis staff, we began taking steps to become actively anti-racist within our organization.
Over the past year and a half, we have restructured our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Steering Committee as an action-based group with more decision-making power, created new opportunities for staff to connect with each other and get involved, updated procedures and policies, supported BIPOC-owned businesses, and publicly endorsed a slate of ballot propositions and measures that would impact the lives of those we serve.
While progress is underway, there is still more to be done to support BIPOC communities every day. As we make our way through 2021, we are continuing to hold conversations with community leaders, our supporters, staff, and clients to make tangible change in our workplace culture and in the community beyond our walls.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2021
Join Chrysalis President & CEO Mark Loranger and guest speakers for a 30-minute, interactive discussion on policies that affect the workforce landscape and those we serve.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2021
Gather with family and friends in-person or virtually when you walk, jog, or run from wherever you are in support of our programs and services.
THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2022
Our annual poker tournament – featuring cocktails, dinner, silent auction, and exclusive prizes for top players and raffle winners.
Attendees from every sector of entertainment, business, and philanthropy will come together again for our annual gala – details to come!
ONGOING EACH MONTH
Experience a behind-the-scenes look at our locations and services.
CHANGE LIVES WITH US
Join us today in our commitment to helping individuals get on a pathway to self-sufficiency in one of the following ways:
Caring, motivated people are needed to provide virtual one-on-one services to Chrysalis clients. Read some of our volunteer spotlights and consider giving your time to someone today!
Your donation ensures that the more than 6,000 clients who will turn to Chrysalis for access to vital resources and support this year will be empowered in their journeys to find and retain employment.
Download our Fall 2021 eNewsletter