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Why Tovala Partners with Cara Collective

Tremaine, top row center, Cara and Cleanslate Class of June 2019

To honor 30 years of Cara’s work to eradicate poverty, we are sharing stories of the participants, partners, and people who made our past, present, and future possible. For the month of June, we are celebrating stories of hope, jobs, and opportunity. In this interview, we ask employment partner Tovala why they joined forces with us and how our participants show up and show out on the job every day.

1. Tell us a little bit about Tovala. How long have you been in operation and what does Tovala provide to people?

Our co-founders started the company in the summer of 2015 by launching a Kickstarter. About a year after that, we had the idea for the oven, and then came the Tovala app to communicate between your phone and the oven. The third part of the company is our meal kits that we manufacture in our facilities here in Chicago. The idea behind all of our products is that we save people time because everyone’s time is valuable.

2. What about Tovala’s work and culture made you ultimately decide Cara might be a great fit for your hiring needs?

Our head of HR had partnered with Cara before, and she suggested we reach out to you. Ever since, we’ve loved partnering with Cara. And because we don’t require background checks, people join our team and see it as an opportunity to start fresh.

3. How do Cara participants show up and show out on the job?

All of the candidates from Cara are so kind and so thoughtful. They want to be here and want to do the role; they put their all into it. Those are the people we want to grow within our company. Tremaine, for example, is just absolutely crushing it on the warehouse team. He received a merit raise recently and was just so happy, saying how much he enjoys his time working here.

4. How has working with Cara shifted your views on hiring and workforce talent?

Above all, a great attitude is what we look for when we hire – not something a background check would necessarily show you. We’re hiring for enthusiasm, a willingness to work together as a team, and excitement to learn new things.

5. Coming out of such a tough year for so many, what did you learn as an organization and what do you hope to carry forward into our next normal?

In 2020, we focused on the work we had already started, which was putting a lot of energy towards the production team and making sure its members felt appreciated. We put a lot of work towards equity across the entire team. We were intentional about providing resources for our essential workers, and it is clearer than ever that that is absolutely the right place to continue to focus our energy.

6. What would you say to another company that’s considering hiring from Cara?

We would highly recommend working with Cara to any other company; there is no downside. As an an employer and as human beings, we appreciate how our employees from Cara feel about your organization. Our latest hire from Cara was so excited to call Kelly on your team to let her know how proud he was about how his interview went. That just speaks to how Cara truly cares.

Your support ensures Cara Collective will partner with companies like Tovala in our next 30 years, creating thousands of opportunities for motivated job seekers to transform their lives. Please click here to consider making a gift. Plus, for the month of June, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000 thanks to our friends at The Owens Foundation.