Employer Spotlight

Quality Ingredients Corporation (QIC) is a contract manufacturing company that began over 30 years ago in Minnesota. Everything that they produce is a powder, from dietary supplements, medical foods, and powder that goes into packaged foods in grocery stores and restaurants. They sell to everyone, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Isabelle Day, President and CEO of QIC, found out about TCR through an article in the Star Tribune last Fall featuring a gentleman at TCR who had found employment at a tire company not far from QIC. “I read the article, and I thought to myself, I want him to work here. Why is he not working here?

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“We were struggling hiring people, and keeping the people we were hiring. I gave my staff until October 1st to fill the openings, and if the jobs are not filled, we are going to call TCR. “

The HR staff at QIC had tried conventional hiring methods such as Indeed and temp agencies, but they were not having much luck finding the right employees.

Today, 10 percent of QIC’s employees are former TCR participants.

“I would like every opening within this company to be filled by TCR participants. There is just a better match between what TCR teaches employees in their Empowerment program and how we bring them in than what we find in the average person off of the street,” says Isabelle.

Isabelle, a long-time believer in fair chance hiring, says that the difference in someone coming off of the street with a criminal background, and someone coming from TCR with background issues, is that they are ready for employment.

“The difference between a person off of the street with a background and the person from TCR with a background is night and day. The person off of the street is not ready. They are not ready for full-time employment and they haven’t turned their life around. I have to turn them down. The difference is people that come from TCR are READY!”

“The difference is your Personal Empowerment program. I think everyone should go through Personal Empowerment.”

A great place for a new beginning

QIC starts their employees off with a livable wage of $15 per hour, plus benefits, including a pension plan. It’s possible to earn over $40,000 annually at QIC without a college degree. It’s hard work, but it’s a pretty neat place. You can look at the end of the day and see the work you have done, the tangible products you have made.

“We want our employees to have a good life. To build savings, get a car, and save for a down payment on a house. “

“I feel like companies and society have been so hard on the people that have been through what these people have been through. It’s so hard to find a job when you have a record, but I think it’s a crying shame. These returning citizens are capable of so much more than a minimum wage job.”

If you are interested in connecting with Twin Cities R!SE for customized solutions for your hiring needs, contact Jacquelyn Carpenter, Business Development Director, at 612-666-8026 or jcarpenter@twincitiesrise.org.