Hiring Well, Doing Good Partners with Columbus Water Works to Bring Job Opportunities to Local Residents

Staff Report

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Hiring Well, Doing Good is pleased to announce a partnership with Columbus Water Works to bring job opportunities to local residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Columbus Water Works has a Second Chances program that aims to hire disadvantaged and formerly incarcerated members of the community who would otherwise struggle to find work.

“As a core company value, Columbus Water Works believes in providing great opportunities and giving second chances,” said Kristin Barker, Program Manager for HWDG in Columbus. “This isn’t because the business itself is looking to gain—although they do gain a lot—but because their corporate culture encourages this as the right thing to do.”

Columbus Water Works helps people like Kevin Johnson, who dropped out of school and spent nine years incarcerated. He left prison in his late 20s with a felony on his record, a significant roadblock to employment. He knew that he needed a job to pay for his immediate needs, but he also wanted to learn and excel to make a better future for himself. 

That’s when Kevin learned about Columbus Water Works’ Second Chances Program. He showed up one morning and asked for a job—and they gave Kevin a second chance as an apprentice in their environmental services department. “He has taken off since then,” said Inez Godbee, employee services coordinator for Columbus Water Works. “He is now a tech level two and just doing phenomenally. Kevin is one of our success stories, and we’re very proud of him.”

Kevin now has a benefits package with health insurance and retirement benefits. Perhaps more importantly, in his own words, he has “a sense of direction” now. “And I have hope,” he adds. “Now I can see a little bit better where once it was blurry. I’m thankful. I’m grateful.”

Hiring Well, Doing Good (HWDG) is an initiative of the Georgia Center for Opportunity, an independent, non-partisan, and solutions-focused nonprofit working to create opportunities for a quality education, fulfilling work, and a healthy family life for all Georgians. HWDG brings together nonprofits, businesses, service providers, schools, and individuals in need of work to strengthen and revive local communities across Georgia.

To partner with HWDG, visit www.hiringwelldoinggood.com/employers.