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At Greyston Bakery located in one of the roughest neighborhoods of New York, they don’t hire people to bake brownies, they bake brownies to hire people.

You’ve tasted chunks of Greyston brownies if you’ve ever dug into Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors like Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Half Baked.

A Yahoo food blogger reports that at Greyston Bakery “nearly all the workers are hard-to-employ adults—people who were previously incarcerated, addicted to drugs or alcohol, homeless, or faced other issues that made them seemingly unemployable… But not only that—it also offers subsidized housing and childcare to its employees, maintains community gardens and nutrition education classes, and offers free job training programs to the community’s needy.”

heart-cookies-Be Mine-GreystonBakeryFBBen & Jerry’s Values Led Sourcing program leads to purchasing decisions within the company that align with their mission of making ice cream a positive force for change.

Since the bakery was founded 32 years ago by a Zen master and businessman, Bernie Glassman, it has maintained an open door hiring policy, giving employment to people regardless of their work history or past incarceration, homelessness or drug use.

“We believe that employment is a first step in an individual’s path toward success,” says the company’s website.

Here’s how it works: Anyone who comes to the front door of the bakery is given the chance to work, no questions asked. When a job becomes available, the next person on their waiting list is hired and becomes part of the apprenticeship program. Greyston provides them with resources, personal development tools and training in professional skills to give them the greatest chance for success in their new job.

Registered as a Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) in New York State, Greyston provided employment opportunities and training to 181 residents within the Yonkers community in 2012. You can help support the program with any purchase of gift boxes of brownies and cookies online.

(READ more from Yahoo Food)

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