Achieve Solutions Achieves Results

By Grace Heffernan

Towards Employment is in the business of connecting employers to the talent they need and jobseekers to career pathways with family sustaining wages.  Practically speaking that means we:

  • Help people gain the tools they need to find a job, navigate life’s obstacles, and secure a path toward a long-term career
  • Partner with business to provide training programs and personal coaching to prepare new and current employees for career success
  • Strengthen the community, by using learnings from rigorously evaluated program operations to positively influence the wider workforce system

After 42 years of people, business, and community focused workforce development, we’ve learned some things about the difficult realities facing those groups.  We know that people can work a full time job and still be living in poverty which makes them susceptible to life stability issues which can make it difficult to be successful on the job.  We know that the attraction and retention of talent is one of the most urgent issues faced by business. And we also know that our community is riddled with challenges like a lead poisoning crisis, low literacy, and a failing public transportation system that further exacerbate the issues faced by people and business.

Business reality by the numbers.

Employee turnover is expensive for business and not in a hypothetical sense – there is an actual dollar amount tied to retention issues.

$6,656 [1] is the cost to replace an employee earning $16 an hour.

  • Onboarding a new employee
  • Lost productivity
  • Training costs

$4,129[2] is the average cost to hire across all occupations.

  • Advertising and marketing of position
  • Internal and external costs of recruitment
  • Administrative costs of screening and interviewing prospective candidates

$3,600[3] is the annual costs of unscheduled absenteeism per hourly worker.

  • High cost replacement workers, ie. temps or overtime
  • Administrative costs of managing absenteeism

Workers’ reality by the numbers[4].

Despite working full time, many workers in Cuyahoga Countyfind it difficult to make ends meet.

$22.68 [5]is the hourly wage an individual with a family size of one adult and two children must earn to support their family based on the typical average expenses of a family living in Cuyahoga County.

$8.30 is the minimum wage in Cuyahoga County.

9[6] is the number of the 10 most common occupations in the Cleveland MSA that do not pay enough to support a family.


So where does this leave us?  At TE, it means that we are at the intersection of workers and business; looking for solutions that leverage our expertise to address businesses’ talent needs, while also stabilizing people on their career pathway.

We know that there are multiple ways for a job to become a quality job.  The first aspect of a quality job that typically comes to mind – is wages and that is absolutely a piece of the puzzle, but The National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ Quality Job Framework illustrates a number of other features that can improve the quality of a job.  Some of these other features include job coaching, upskilling, mentorship, financial coaching, and external linkages to community resources that can help stabilize workers personal lives so that they can be successful on the job. And while incredibly valuable, these features can seem cost preventative to business to due to the time and expertise needed to develop and implement many of these systems.


Enter: Achieve Solutions

Achieve Solutions is an employer based, coaching service that offers resource navigation and supports for all entry-level employees.  Building on our expertise in career coaching, Achieve Solutions helps businesses tackle employee retention issues. Working one-on-one with frontline workers, Career Coaches help employees  overcome obstacles such as lack of affordable housing, legal issues, unreliable transportation, and childcare—all things that would otherwise lead to higher turnover and disengagement for .

A more stable workforce allows businesses to see demonstrable improvements in retention, attendance and allows HR teams to spend less time trying to resolve employee’s non-work related challenges.  All of these improvements translate into increased productivity and cost savings for businesses and improved job quality for workers.


[2] Updated link (1/23/23)
(Original link:
[4] Based on family size of 1 adult and 2 children