2019 saw Reinvestment Fund partner with Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) and Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) to work with FSS again, refinancing a maturing loan with better terms. In the same year, Reinvestment Fund also partnered with NFF, REDF Impact Investing Fund, and Dignity Health to support FSS’s expansion into Southern California, with additional support from Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.
Following this expansion model, FSS has grown from a company with 120 individuals working each week and $2 million in revenue, to nearly 3,000 individuals working weekly and a projected $59 million in revenue in 2020.
FSS is full of success stories. Take Steven for example. In Philadelphia, FSS’s new clients know Steven as the smiling, reassuring face they see when they step off the elevator. He’s a FSS ambassador helping clients navigate the job application process.
Each day, Steven turns his own success into opportunities to help others face the circumstances he had to fight to overcome. A veteran, Steven was homeless for almost eight years, struggling with addiction issues. In 2018, he was introduced to FSS.
“Thanks to FSS Staffing, I have a second chance. I believe in myself again.”
— SHAUNDRIKA, MAIL SORTER AT PITNEY BOWES FROM FSS STAFFING
Steven utilized the multiple support systems available to him through the organization, pausing his employment to address his addiction issues, then returning to become an important part of the team. “What makes FSS unique is that they cater to a specific social demographic, Steven said. “FSS does not discriminate. Regardless of what you look like, when you walk through the door, they help you find a job. Anyone who wants a job, can get one.”
In Los Angeles, Shaundrika, a mother of five, struggled to provide for herself despite multiple certifications in the medical field. After receiving an initial placement as a mail sorter at Pitney Bowes from FSS Staffing, Shaundrika was hired full-time. Of her experience, she said, “Thanks to FSS Staffing, I have a second chance. I believe in myself again.”
Sadly, FSS founder Block passed away in August of 2020. His friends say that Block quickly came to see the organization’s clients as heroes for their courage in the face of adversity. After receiving his cancer diagnosis in 2013, Block redoubled his work to expand the work of FSS. The focus on presenting clients with opportunities to change the trajectory of their lives remains the same as the organization’s national presence grows.
Now operating in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nashville, Orlando, and Greater Los Angeles, FSS’s expansion has provided the opportunity to replicate their model in diverse areas of the country to create change through connecting courageous people with opportunity. While other staffing agencies measure their success in dollars earned, FSS measures its work in the lives it impacts. Each year, more than 7,500 lives are changed due to the organization’s work across the United States.
As Nickerson recalls, Block was fond of referencing Wayne Gretzky’s famous quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t make.” FSS’s clients take the first shot by reaching out to connect with what has too often been missing from their lives–a chance.