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reacHIRE Connects Workers, Businesses Trying To Create Diverse Workforce

BOSTON (CBS) - In 2017, Verina LeGrand was as happy as she'd ever been. Her daughters were healthy, she had a baby boy and she had married to the man of her dreams. That man was former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn.

After Verina gave birth to Grayson, she and Terry decided she would be a stay-at-home mom. She left her job in pharmaceutical sales and began focusing—full-time—on motherhood. Then, the unthinkable happened.

In October of that year, Terry and Verina were in a terrible car accident. Terry was killed. Verina was injured and grieving. "It just left me at a point in my life when I had to re-examine my thoughts, my life and how I was going to make it going forward," she said. 6

Verina LeGrand
Verina LeGrand (WBZ-TV)

After a period of healing, Verina began to look for work. "I had thrown my resume out there—on all the typical job sites. I'd started going to workshops and career fairs and I got zero hits…on my resume."

Then she saw and ad that changed her life. It was an ad for reacHIRE, a Massachusetts-based company that serves as a bridge between people looking for work and companies looking for talent. The company provides training, support and—ultimately—career placement through partner companies like Fidelity, Vertex and others.

reacHIRE founder Addie Swartz says the company has helped hundreds of women (and a few men) find new jobs. "I like to say," Swartz explained, "A career break doesn't have to be a career break-er." She describes the socially-conscious company as a "bridge" that connects talented workers with businesses focused on building the best, most diverse workforce.

"There is so much data that shows companies do so much better with diverse workforces and that women who are on executive teams drive over 30% better performance… for those companies," Swartz said.

Swartz knew what it felt like to leave a job. She left the workforce in 2013 to care for her daughter Chloe after the family was involved in a serious car accident. That experience, she says, only made her more committed to helping create opportunities for people who wanted to build careers—or create a new professional future. With training, she says, years of experience and great potential can be refocused to the benefit of the employee and her new company.

"With COVID and so many people out of work, companies need to think about how they redeploy," Swartz said. "Imagine being able to transfer your skills from one industry to another." It often relies on new or updated training in technology. But that, she says, only opens more doors.

Verina LeGrand is proud to say it's worth it. She just celebrated her first anniversary at Fidelity in talent acquisition. She says she understands how discouraging it is to be looking for work, particularly in a pandemic. But she urges women to seek help and resources. She says her six months in reacHIRE's program gave her hope and confidence when she needed it most.

"I knew that at the end of the day there was going to be an opportunity that was right for me," LeGrand said.

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