Since its inception, the business-focused personality of the organization has been evident in its leadership, management and organizational development. The confluence of a business-perspective and the workforce needs of the unemployed are uniquely understood and communicated by the organizationís President and CEO, Rodney J. Carroll.
In 2000, after a 22-year career at United Parcel Services (UPS), Mr. Carroll was named the CEO and President of The Welfare to Work Partnership, currently known as Business Interface, LLC. Having been raised in an impoverished neighborhood in North Philadelphia, Mr. Carroll is a role model for the individuals we serve. During his tenure at UPS, Mr. Carroll was instrumental in creating a workforce development program for the company that employed welfare recipients from one of the most impoverished communities in the country to fill critical entry-level jobs. At the time, UPS was experiencing extreme shortages in these positions due to high turnover rates. Reflecting back on his experiences growing up in an environment which presented socio-economic barriers and limited access to quality paying jobs, Mr. Carroll designed the program to include workplace supports that helped the target population to remain employed. As a result, a regional bus service was created providing transportation to and from the work site, supportive services were identified within the immediate community and quality jobs became accessible.
Concurrently, UPS along with Sprint, Burger King, United Airlines, Monsanto determined that the business community, in order to satisfy critical labor shortages, could benefit from employing underserved populations in entry to mid-level jobs. Studies had shown that this population was willing to work, very productive once employed and with workplace supports, remained on the job for longer periods of time. Using the model implemented by UPS, the organization launched the formation of Business Interface and promoted its demand-driven approach nationally. Business Interface was viewed as the voice of the business community regarding policy and best practices related to employing hard-to-serve populations. The demand-side model has been demonstrated to be one of the most success employment models used across the country.
Our national outreach efforts in the early years resulted in the mobilization of nearly 22,000 business partners employing more than 1.1 million economically disadvantaged individuals. Today, Business Interface focuses on implementing the demand-side approach as a direct service to our business clients by linking them to underserved populations looking for work. We no longer focus on just the welfare population, our participant base has grown to include at-risk and offender youth. Business Interface continually promotes effective employment models that help to raise individuals out of poverty permanently and seeks to expand our services to other urban cities similar to the those we currently serve.