Dan Phillip believes in second chances.

As the founder and president of Transformation Network, Phillip uses that desire to transform people’s lives and revolutionize the temp-to-hire business.

Transformation Network began in 1999 at Park Street Brethren Church, where Phillip was the operations manager. It started as a program that helped single mothers get off the welfare system and break out of the confines of poverty. Throughout the last 19 years, Transformation Network has evolved into several different facets of outreach and ministry, which Phillip and colleague Bob Buford are quick to note neither planned.

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

“I am from southern California,” said Buford, who’s been with Transformation Network for 15 years and is the chief intercession officer. “I never dreamed of this or planned on doing this here, but this is where God called me.”

Transformation Network, which is now an independent, nondenominational nonprofit, has evolved into a temp-to-hire organization that focuses on improving the lives of individuals, while placing them in the right job.

“We just want to inspire people to fulfill their purpose as God’s masterpiece. That’s it. Bottom line,” Phillip said. “ … God said he created us as his masterpiece to do good works and he prepared those good works for us to do before we were born. So we know you were born specifically for a purpose, so now let’s help find that purpose.”

Transformation Network welcomes anyone who is looking for employment, despite their background or life situation, including those who were formerly incarcerated.

“We believe in second chances,” Buford said.

The nonprofit sets itself apart by getting to know individuals and trying to meet their needs.

Dominic Cianciola, a former temp, now recruiter for Transformation Network, spends his time getting to know individuals to help place them in the right job. But, Cianciola said it’s equally important to help them stabilize their lives.

“When you constantly lose your job for one certain reason, then you have to make a change and want to make a change,” Cianciola said. “We do our best to have as strong of an impact as we possibly can. We try to overcome barriers – whatever they are.”

Part of the initial phase of getting to know an individual, Transformation Network will put them through a series of assessments to see what they do well. Once the Transformation Network staff has an idea of where the individual may best fit, they send them through a “Practice Preview,” a simulation of the actual work they would do with that particular manufacturer.

“We’ll put you on the ‘Practice Preview’ to see if you have the attitude, aptitude and desire to do the work,” said Phillip, whose ministry has two other locations outside of Ashland: Bellevue and Clarksville, Indiana. “… We put them through the paces and see if they have the attitude to do the job.”

This way of hiring has proven to help retention since employees have an idea of what the job entails.

Transformation Network also spares manufacturers from having to invest resources into finding workers.

“We save them a lot of time and a lot of money because they have no time and money involved to weed out people who aren’t going to be a good fit for them,” Phillip said.

Companies pay Transformation Network if they hire one of their employees. They also provide them with the tools needed to have an effective “Practice Preview” for their company.

The success of this structure is also dependent on employers engaging with their employees.

“We could just recruit and send people to companies, if that’s what they prefer,” Phillip said, “But we really want to develop people and retain them.”

Phillip said people need to feel safe, bonded and connected if they are going to stay at a certain job. He said only 30 percent of the nation’s workforce feels engaged and those who don’t, often look for something else.

Phillip has found the common practice among manufacturers – because of the high turnover rate – is to not invest in their employees until they have proven that they will stay.

“(Manufacturers) have such demand for the products that they are making that they need bodies,” he added. “… But we believe that every ‘body’ is important.”

Transformation Network equips employers with the tools to engage with their employees.

“I want to revolutionize the temp-to-hire industry,” Phillip said. “… Most people don’t think they have time, so let us be that time. You’re going to have to be a part of it. That’s the hard part because you’re the one they have to feel safe with. You’re the one that they are bonding to. … If you’re not showing any interest in these people – you’re not connecting, you’re not bonding, you’re not making them feel safe – (they’ll leave).”

Phillip estimates that it costs the average company $5,000 per person per year that it does not retain, but with the help of Transformation Network that retention can be improved.

“Every company that will stick with what we ask them to do will save money and we will improve their retention,” said Phillip, who works with 15 area companies including Hedstrom and Tremco.

The staff at Transformation Network believes in giving people a future, which Phillip said many people they encounter don’t see a future for themselves, so they have to show them.

“It is about developing relationships and developing people,” said Phillip, who sees about 2,000 people come through the nonprofit’s doors each year. “The more value a person adds to themselves the more valuable they are. If you want to make more money, then you add more value to yourself. It takes hard work and perseverance and it’s not fun all the time.”

Recruiter Stanley Frankart said Transformation Network has been instrumental in his life. The way the staff has invested in Frankart's life propels him to invest in the individuals that come to him.

“When they come in these doors, they understand that their lives are broken,” Frankart said. “(I) love being able to minister to them and meet that need of getting their life back on the right path.”

Transformation Network has several other ministerial branches besides temp work like the Almond Tree Inn, which acts as temporary housing for those individuals that need it, and a life skills class they have facilitated at the Ashland County Jail since October 2001.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve things, to make things better,” Phillip said. “… I am a big believer in providing opportunity.”

“We are always looking for ways to give people opportunity to invest in themselves, add value, so they can get out of wherever they are at.”

INFO BOX

Inspiration? In 1999, Dan Phillip came up with the idea for Transformation Network. Back then, it was a plan to help single mothers get off the welfare system. It has since evolved into a manufacturing temp-to-hire organization.

How has it evolved? What sets Transformation Network apart is its dedication to making an impact in the lives of its recruits. Manufacturing companies are looking to improve retention and hire workers committed to their jobs. Transformation Network bridges the gap by finding the right fit for employees and employers.