Oct 16, 2019
The “Life’s Tough—You Can Be Tougher” podcast this week features Charles Rosen, socially-responsible and environmentally conscious visionary and founder of NJ-based Ironbound Hard Cider.
Charles Rosen is the founder of Ironbound Hard Cider, a NJ-based social-enterprise company designed to radically change a system that fails the very people it is supposed to help—the underemployed and formerly incarcerated. His goal—to give ex-offenders a real chance to rise above a system that he believes is purposefully designed to put them back into prison. Over the last several years, Rosen has been developing a radically different concept for bringing the formerly incarcerated and other chronically underemployed members of our community (including immigrants and vets,) back into the workforce, and one that goes beyond what any government program has done. “The amount of effort required for ONE individual to transition out of a state of chronic poverty is almost inconceivable,” Rosen states. “We are engaged in human repair work unlike anyone else in the country. I don’t know of any other employer, federal or state program, or nonprofit organization that is committing the time or other resources necessary for this type of transformative work.”
Rosen accomplishes this by a radical workforce development training program—developed in partnership with Columbia University’s Earth Institute—that focuses on areas such as conflict resolution, identity value, and communication skills and is taught through workshops and one-on-one sessions. Combining this with a collective of local entrepreneurs and small food businesses as well as farming practices that use regenerative agriculture to heal the land, Rosen’s “Ironbound Collective” brings economic, environmental and culinary benefits to the entire community, including his customers.
Committed to changing the system, Rosen feels our country is on an unsustainable course and wants to prove that a business can be responsible for more than shareholder returns. Rosen says “We are trying to create a unique community in NJ where everyone’s success is interdependent – employees, farmers, restaurateurs, distributors, and consumers. While it’s been hard to change the system, and costly, I’m still hopeful that I can prove it’s doable.”
Join Dustin and Charles for an illuminating conversation and listen how a radically different and socially-responsible thinker inspires real human transformation coupled with economic success.