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Blog Home > Rich Beattie's Story: MEC2 Uses CFUF as Recruitment Tool
Rich Beattie's Story: MEC2 Uses CFUF as Recruitment Tool
Rich Beattie, principal of Baltimore-based Mechanical Engineering and Construction Corporation (MEC2), learned about the Center for Urban Families when MEC2 was retained to install heating and cooling in CFUF’s new building in 2008.

Neither knew that by 2012, MEC2 would be turning to CFUF for referrals to fill all new entry-level job openings.

“The STRIVE program is our pre-employment screening service at MEC2,” Mr. Beattie noted with enthusiasm. “When CFUF tells me a graduate is ready for a second chance, I know he’s ready.”

MEC2 employs skilled craftsmen – HVAC technicians, plumbers, pipe fitters – teaching them technical skills in-house using an apprenticeship program. For an entry-level hire, soft skills like timeliness, a positive attitude, and a strong work ethic are much more important, and much more difficult to screen for. That’s where CFUF proved to be a valuable partner.

“African American males from Baltimore City face many hurdles in their search for a career. This is especially true for men with criminal backgrounds,” Mr. Beattie said. “STRIVE is our answer to addressing that hurdle.”

Today, STRIVE graduates employed by MEC2 have a 70% retention rate – compared with 30% for non-STRIVE graduates. Out of the nine currently employed there, four went on to trade school, increasing their wages from $13 to more than $24 per hour. They continue to be involved – acting as mentors to new STRIVE employees at MEC2, and to recent STRIVE graduates through CFUF’s Alumni program.

Mr. Beattie sees the partnership as a “win-win situation” for MEC2 and for STRIVE graduates. “STRIVE graduates get a second chance and a career path. I get good employees who appreciate the opportunity and as a result, are loyal and dedicated. That is good business practice.”
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