Making Space for a Radical Employment Model to Grow

At a state-of-the-art facility in Yonkers, NY, Greyston Bakery produces 35,000 pounds of brownies every day and provides full-time jobs to over 100 hard-to-employ workers using an “Open Hiring” concept: no applications; no interviews; no background checks. Just up the road, leadership at the Greyston Foundation (the bakery’s owner) are working to build a movement around the bakery’s transformational employment model by launching the Center for Open Hiring. To support that effort, the Leviticus Fund is providing Greyston a $1.3 million loan to help them expand and reconfigure their office complex and develop a real estate strategic plan, allowing the Center to reach its full potential.

Greyston launched its Center for Open Hiring in June 2018 to foster inclusionary Open Hiring practices at businesses across the nation. Through a series of collaborative education and training opportunities, advisory services, and research projects, the Center aims to spread the Open Hiring model to advance a more just and inclusive economy. Since its launch, the Center has been profiled in many major publications, including Forbes, Business Insider, Fast Company, Mic, and Al Jazeera.

Greyston conducts its operations from a 200-year-old mansion and an adjacent former monastery of the Sacramentine Nuns, where it also offers workforce training to aspiring bakery employees and houses 35 formerly homeless individuals living with HIV/AIDS. However, the buildings also have significant unused and underutilized space. To maximize the impact of the Center and other program services, Greyston needs to use these spaces more effectively.

To meet this need, Greyston is undertaking a multi-year, $8 million renovation. To cover the first phase of this three-phase project, Greyston turned to Leviticus Fund for the $1.3 million loan.

Eventually, by expanding and renovating its unused facilities into new classrooms and meeting spaces, Greyston can enhance its workforce development, generate new jobs and revenue, and carry out all strategies of the Center, from round-table discussions to major leadership forums. Through this growth, Greyston hopes Open Hiring will eventually become “the norm, not the exception” in the workplace.