The ICA Group launched the Alternative Staffing Alliance with the support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in 2007. The Alliance is a peer network of over 50 social purpose staffing firms that pair a temporary staffing business platform with supportive services to help people with obstacles to employment enter and advance in the workforce. Alternative staffing organizations (ASOs) act as intermediaries between employers and job seekers by helping employers attract and retain reliable, motivated workers, while also linking job seekers to competitive employment opportunities, which provide skills development training and pathways to permanent positions. The model is one of the most effective workforce development strategies, leveraging state, federal, and philanthropic training funds on a 9 to 1 rate.
Collectively, ASOs employ roughly 30,000 people with barriers to employment each year. While ASOs vary in their organizational structures and the populations they seek to serve, they have two common characteristics. First, all are deeply rooted in their respective communities, giving them a keen understanding of the landscape and enabling them to leverage local connections and resources. Second, all share a market-driven approach to delivering staffing services.
Beginning in 2006, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and its partners designed the Gulf Coast Initiative and engaged three community-based organizations to launch and operate ASOs. This report tells their stories and emphasizes four main lessons for the field.
The most recent Demonstration report commissioned by the CS Mott Foundation is Finding the Right Fit: How Alternative Staffing Affects Worker Outcomes. It provides important information about the employment status of ASO workers over time.