RecycleForce: A History of Success

RecycleForce has experienced tremendous growth both in its recycling services and its job training programs. After launching in 2006, RecycleForce (formerly known as Workforce, Inc.) has gone from two workers and 600,000 pounds of processed materials to more than 75 employees and 6 million pounds of processed recyclables annually.

While RecycleForce began specializing in recycling electronic waste, it has expanded to offer recycling collection for a whole host of materials, including plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard. Since its inception, RecycleForce has helped clean up our environment by processing a total of 11 million pounds of recyclable material.

As its recycling operation grew, so did RecycleForce’s capability to employ and train hundreds of ex-offenders, successfully guiding their re-entry back into the community.

 

Formerly incarcerated individuals have the odds stacked against them upon their release. Most have no job and no home to return to. Without these foundational elements, the rate of reoffending and returning to the criminal justice system is incredibly high. In fact, more than half of all ex-offenders returning to Indianapolis/Marion County in 2009 ended up back in the prison system.

RecycleForce’s workforce program, focused on transitional jobs, employability skills training and supportive services, has successfully placed more than 360 ex-offender workers in full-time paid employment. The recidivism rate for these workers has been only 25% -- significantly less that the local and national averages.

This statistic lends credence to RecycleForce President Gregg Keesling’s belief that “Once we give a man a fighting chance to do the right thing, many, in fact most, will.”