Earthrise Enterprises, Inc. is a non-profit Schedule C business entity that was concieved by the Berks County Juvenile Probation Office and is now managed by the Berks County Adult Probation Office. It was established in 1992 and continues to be managed by a volunteer Board of Directors that meet on a quarterly basis. The purpose of the program is to provide delinquent youth and youthful adult offenders with the opportunity to learn employment skills while earning money. The program allows participants to experience the responsibilities of having a job including: wearing a uniform, reporting for their scheduled shifts, understanding respect for customers, supervisors, and co-workers, and being open to taking direction.
Earthrise Enterprises, Inc. is a snack shop operating out of the Berks County Services Center. The snack shop is a full-time operation that can employ participants working two shifts, from 7:30 am to 11:00 am and 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. The snack shop not only serves breakfast and lunch to County employees and visitors of the Services Center, but also caters local meetings.
For many of the participants, this is their first job. The participants are guided through this new experience with assistance from two adult full-time supervisors, which offer the participants the ability to work under differing supervisory techniques.
The participants receive wages that align with similar local businesses in the fast food industry, with the opportunity to earn raises and other incentives, such as gift certificates, for positive work performance.
The participants are evaluated daily in key areas such as attendance, quality of work, quantity of work, initiative and dependability. It is the goal of the program to introduce the participants to basic business practices, including banking, inventory management, and ordering supplies.
On average, the participants remain employed with Earthrise for approximately 3 to 6 months. Most of the participants complete their probation requirements and their cases are closed. Other participants obtain outside employment based upon the skills they acquired at Earthrise.
Earthrise is proud to have been named, "Outstanding Program of the Year for 2006", by the Juvenile Court Judges Commission of Pennsylvania.
For additional information regarding Earthrise, please contact Assistant Chief Adult Probation Officer, Brian Harting.