Our Mission – Empower individuals to reach their potential and lead stable lives through satisfying work.
Since 2003, StepUp Wilmington (formerly “Phoenix Employment Ministry” 2003 -2015 and “Phoenix Hometown Hires” 2015 -2018) has served people affected by unemployment and underemployment, often associated with the challenges of incarceration, homelessness, recovery, domestic violence, or anything that keeps one from reaching their goals. Our process teaches people to get and keep quality jobs, rebuild hope & self-esteem, and create opportunities for themselves. We place hundreds of jobs each year, with a one year job retention rate of 80%. Our impact doesn’t end with employment, we maintain relationships and provide the support and training necessary to move individuals and families toward stability, impacting their lives and strengthening our communities. We produce a profound social return on investment, where for every dollar invested in our work, $4 is re-invested in our community through wages & taxes, reduction in recidivism, and reduction in government support. The work is important, not only because of its clear goal of bringing individuals in need back to the dignity and productivity of employment, but because of its clear mission to transform people’s lives. Families become stronger, relationships are healed, and communities become more vibrant because nothing acts as a better “springboard” in life than a job!
1,154 Jobs Placed since 2003
Over $17 Million in earnings
$4 Social Return on Investment
Think of our Job Program as a week-long dress rehearsal that gets people ready for the rigors of today’s jobs and job market. With renewed confidence, deeper skill sets and a community of support around them, we prepare and market our candidates for permanent jobs. And think of “Step 2” as the classroom where people continue to hone their skills, find a diverse community of support and excel at work and life.
When you put all of these services together, the result: Hundreds of quality jobs a year resulting in millions of dollars in wages; one-year, same-firm retention rates of 80%; and a social return on investment of $4 for every dollar invested in the work.
At StepUp Wilmington we know that there is more that our community needs from us and more that we can do for our community. While we are proud of our results, we also know that there are deep rooted ongoing challenges in our community. Surrounding counties maintain poverty rates well above the national average; the City of Wilmington has a poverty rate over 23%. With so many people still struggling, we want our hundreds to be thousands. So we’re partnering with organizations to ensure that people have more access to education, job opportunities and livable wages. We are exploring the creation of a social enterprise to help people develop skills, deepen their resume and get to work faster. We seek to scale up the jobs we help secure under our own roof and scale out the jobs we can help others secure through our influence.