Local startup InReturn Strategies has been selected to join the Points of Light Civic Accelerator, a national program investing in companies that help underemployed people find good jobs.
And that definitely describes InReturn Strategies. Founder Jim Atwater and his team have created a platform that makes it easier for employers to hire people with disabilities. Commerce Bank and the Kansas City Public Library have both signed on as early customers.
Even for companies that actively recruit people with disabilities, it can be difficult to find a solid match between the job and the person. InReturn Strategies is trying to change the dynamic by offering employers an easy-to-use online interface.
InReturn was one of 12 companies picked for the fall class of Points of Light, which kicks off next week. The 10-week program will offer mentoring, training, networking and other services.
Participating entrepreneurs will spend time in Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C. At the end of the course, they’ll decide which of their two colleagues deserve to win $50,000 in investment from Points of Light.
“We are excited to support, along with our funders and partners, such promising ventures to improve access to employment, particularly among populations with high rates of underemployment,” said Ayesha Khanna, founder of the Points of Light Civic Accelerator.
“Since the recession, we have lost 5 million manufacturing jobs, with half of the jobs added being low-wage. Our ventures provide solutions from education to workforce access, to help employers find talent and individuals find and sustain jobs in the innovation economy. This is a critical issue in the U.S., and we look forward to helping these teams and ventures scale the bold solutions needed to tackle this issue.”
Points of Light was founded by the PwC Charitable Foundation and the Starbucks Foundation, with support from Dentons, Singing for Change and Hilton.