A key to the success of The SOURCE is that it is employer led and utilizes a cross-system collaborative model for long-term comprehensive support to employers, their employees and their families. In addition to employers, the collaboration includes partners from education and training, economic development, and social service (government and nonprofit) organizations.
Since 2003, The SOURCE has operated under a comprehensive and centralized collaborative model that results in a holistic environment where employees, their families, and residents can thrive and businesses flourish. The goal of The SOURCE is to significantly enhance the retention and advancement of workers, through training and education, among participating companies.
Those who worked to create The SOURCE believe that this solution to an economic problem will benefit all stakeholders, as follows:
Employees will improve their economic status and overall quality of life
Employers will see bottom line results, while being socially responsible and creating social innovation
Nonprofit human services agencies can more effectively deliver their services
Government entities will leverage increasingly scarce state and federal revenues for long-term results.
The SOURCE is a self-sufficient, employer-led entity. The infrastructure is fully funded by the employer members because of the impact The SOURCE has on the employers’ profitability through reduced turnover, lower training costs and increased employee performance.
The SOURCE leverages the collective resources of the public/private partners to offer services such as job specific training, personal growth classes, and support services to help overcome barriers employees face in retaining and advancing in the workforce.
A group of manufacturers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, came together, originally to discuss child care issues in the workplace and how a solution to child care would help productivity and reduce turnover. The result was the formation of an organization named THE SOURCE. The goal of THE SOURCE was to return value to the employer partners in tangible ways. The methods used by its staff range from finding housing solutions for displaced employees, transportation solutions for employees who have problems getting to work, and access to a greater range of training opportunities; financial counseling for employees, ESL classes and Spanish Classes. THE SOURCE also functions as a best practices group for the Human Resource directors in each member company as well as a networking group for the member companies’ CEOs. THE SOURCE is a collaborative effort providing resources, support, training, advancement opportunities, and answers for their collective workforce and staff. The SOURCE brings together community, government, and private interests in an effort to leverage existing assets in order to strengthen the community’s workforce.
The businesses that chartered The SOURCE faced a difficult dilemma - each was operating on slim margins as a result of price competition, supplier demands and outsourcing. Each business knew that its’ human assets – the talent that each workforce offered – was a crucial part of the business’ competitive edge. Each business recognized that the most effective, long term solution to price pressures was to engage a team of workers that could focus on their job with a creative mindset toward continuous improvement. But employees brought pressures from home that distracted them on the job, and created behavior problems like absenteeism, poor performance, and turnover. The businesses recognized that additional employee relations resources would reduce the problem and save the company significant dollars. And, when these business owners realized they shared a common problem that could be addressed with a shared resource The SOURCE was created.