Workforce Solutions

We deeply believe success is buried within each of us. It is our job to help those we serve recognize and
unlock it.

Workforce Solutions Overview

Workforce Solutions is Uplift Solutions workforce development training program launched in May 2017 to alleviate poverty by addressing social deficits and access to employment in under-served communities. The Uplift Workforce Solutions program is designed to provide formerly-incarcerated and like-situated individuals an opportunity to gain long-term employment through the remediation of negative thought patterns, poor decision making and bad habits. The program is built on the foundation of life skills training with a progression into technical skills training. The program provides both hard and soft skills through a combination of classroom instruction, hands on experience, and on-the-job support. Participants are required to complete an entrance survey that will inform the classroom instruction relative to life-skills training and social-services support. Uplift maintains engagement with program participants through its case management personnel for a period of three years.

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For more information, please contact Lauren Ruday at 215-276-7238, or email her at [email protected]


Returning citizens are skeptical and apprehensive about their opportunities and the intentions of the systems and people they are returning to. Entry into the program begins with a comprehensive assessment of the individual to understand their unique circumstances and needs. Once understood, the Workforce team work with the individual to develop an individualized plan to address any barriers to successful completion of the program, transition to work, and long-term success.


Participants are required to complete a six-week, two-part training program that includes life and technical skills. The first phase of the program focuses on remediating negative thought patterns, poor decision making, and bad habits. Simultaneously, participants develop the skills necessary to self-evaluate and self-correct; how to effectively work with others; and how to effectively resolve conflict.

In the second phase of the program participants transition to an employer-informed simulated training. During this phase participants learn exceptional customer service and sales training; and receive simulated training on the actual systems and equipment they will use during employment. During this time, participants have the opportunity to role-play newly learned behaviors.

Case Management

The current standard of case management is built on the premise of ensuring the returning citizen has completed a checklist, with no consideration of their circumstances. We have re-examined and redeveloped case management within the Uplift Workforce Solutions program. We built a program that places the returning citizen at the center of our work. We evaluate each person based on their unique circumstances and connect them to the appropriate services. The case adviser and the participant work collectively to develop a transition to work plan. The plan includes addressing issues related to transportation, obtaining identification, GED, public benefits, housing and childcare. Once connected to services, their case adviser works with them through the entire process. In addition, the case adviser will work with the participant to gain access to their birth certificate, state ID or Driver’s License, and/or social security card. The case adviser will provide and help complete appropriate paperwork, conduct research as necessary, and monitor progress when action is needed directly from participant. Further, the case adviser remains engaged for a three-year period, and will intervene or navigate as necessary.

Case Managed Connected Services

Uplift does not provide direct service in the areas of adult education (GED or equivalent), public benefits, housing, and childcare. These services are considered Case-Managed Connected Services that are outsourced to appropriate partners. Uplift has standing relationships with multiple organizations in each area to provide direct referrals. When a referral is made the case advisor will monitor the progress on attaining the required service and intervene when necessary.

Employer Engagement

Employer engagement is critical to the success of the program. Uplift actively recruits employers, provides guidance on employing re-entering citizens, and works with them to develop the infrastructure to support their new employees. Additionally, Uplift works with employers to design its curriculum and technical skills training specific to their organizations; ultimately delivering employees prepared to work on day one.

Workforce Solutions Highlights

Partners in Training Program

The Partners in Training program is Workforce Solutions’ founding program. The program was designed to provide formerly-incarcerated individuals the underlying life-skills training and prerequisite/requisite technical skills training to successfully reintegrate into the workforce and society. The program has partnerships with Brown’s Superstores, Burns’ Family Markets, Eatible Delights Catering, and Yards Brewery.

Work-Release Program

In a partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, the Philadelphia Court System, and Probation and Parole, Workforce Solutions began training work-release inmates from the county prisons. Through the program, work-release inmates are transported from various prisons on State Road to the workforce training center at ENON daily. Work-release inmates receive the same training as
traditional participants. Upon completion of the program and employment, the work-release inmates are paroled (released from prison).

Aetna Better Health Program
Uplift Solutions partnered with Aetna Better Health to develop a workforce training program designed to engage chronically-unemployed individuals from low-income communities that were super utilizers of government subsidized healthcare plans and train them to reenter the workforce. The program provided life-skills training and social deficit support that help to move the individuals beyond their circumstances; while providing the technical-skills training necessary to be employed by Aetna.
Transforming Justice Conference

Uplift Solutions partnered with Chestnut Hill College and the Institute for Forgiveness and Reconciliation to present the Transforming Justice Conference. In its inaugural year, the Transforming Justice Conference aimed to illuminate the current state of the criminal justice system to include its inequities and barriers; and raise strategies for improvement through an engaged dialogue with local, regional, and
national leaders.


Workforce Solutions Employer Partners

Program Funders

Workforce Solutions Advisory Board

  • Keir Bradford-Grey, Chief Defender at Defender Association of Philadelphia 
  • Cecily Bradford-Jones, Chief Operating Officer at Families Forward Philadelphia
  • Kevin Brown, Senior Vice President at Premier Medical Products
  • Michelle Brown, Trinity Health
  • Nate Carr, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
  • Suzanne Gennaro, Program Associate at Nerney Family Foundation
  • Sarita McCants, Citizens Bank
  • Joanna McClinton, State Representative at The State of Pennsylvania 
  • Sister Cathy Nerney, Institute for Forgiveness at Chestnut Hill College
  • Dr. Nikia Owens, Managing Director at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
  • John Vining, Director of Human Resources at Brown’s Super Stores
  • Shana Salley-MacMillian, Founder and Board Chair of Black Women Give Foundation