Posner Center for International Development Denver, CO

Creating Good Jobs for Our Community

Thursday, Sep. 10 6:00 p.m.



Held on September 10, 2015.

Business has the power to transform the lives of the poor. Good jobs that provide economic security, dignity, and an environment to learn new skills have the potential to help entire communities flourish economically.

Yet how do businesses create good jobs for at-risk or low-income candidates? What are the best practices in providing meaningful employment that create opportunities for the poor and boost employers’ bottom line? What are the pitfalls of these programs–and opportunities? How can businesses care for their neighbor and also stay profitable? Can a broader social mission re-energize the mission of business?

At this business forum, we explored best practices from “apprentice” programs designed to make local businesses agents of social and spiritual transformation. We heard from experts who have successfully created jobs and brought new life to at-risk communities across the US.


Karla Nugent

Weifield Electrical Contracting

Karla Nugent is the chief revenue officer of Weifield Electrical Contracting, a national electrical construction company that seeks to build the world’s most energy-efficient buildings. Karla’s focus on people has led Weifield to become one of the Denver Post’s Top Workplaces multiple years running. Her advocacy for improved training for the next generation of construction workers led to her becoming one of the founding members of SkillBuild Colorado and Skills2Compete Colorado.

Julius Walls

Greater Centennial Development Corporation

Julius Walls - President, Greater Centennial Development Corporation and Pastor, Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church, Yonkers, NY Julius Walls, Jr. is CEO of Greyston Bakery and senior vice president of Greyston Foundation. Walls is also an adjunct professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, where he teaches social enterprise, and at Bainbridge Graduate Institute near Seattle, where he teaches social justice and business. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Walls attended high school and college seminary before pursuing a career in business. He studied business at Baruch College and completed his degree at Concordia College. After beginning his career at an accounting firm, he joined a chocolate manufacturing company and at age twenty-six was appointed vice president of operations. In 1992, he founded his own chocolate company, Sweet Roots, Inc. which sells the only chocolate bar using exclusively African cocoa and produced by an African- American. Walls worked with Greyston Bakery to bring its cakes and tarts to the White House in 1993. In 1995, he joined Greyston as a marketing consultant and in November 1997 became CEO of the Bakery, adding vice president of Greyston Foundation in January 2000. A core ingredient of Walls's life and career is his spiritual practice. He encourages employees to actively bring their whole selves to work, including their cultural and spiritual selves.


Mile High Workshop

Andy Magel - Director, Mile High Workshop. Andy has been a long-term influencer on Denver's social entrepreneurship scene. Currently, he directs Mile High Workshop, an enterprise that create employment opportunities and provides job training for members of our community seeking to rebuild from addictions, homelessness, and incarceration. He is a graduate of Warner Pacific College.