Phoenix Hometown Hires Reaches Next Level

Feb 1, 2018 | News |

Organization rebrands as StepUp Wilmington; Announces 1,000 Job Goal

Wilmington, N.C. – On Jan. 31, Phoenix Hometown Hires will update its DBA name to “StepUp Wilmington.” The evolution comes as part of the local nonprofit’s long-term strategic plan and reflects its existing affiliation with the member-driven organization, StepUp NC ( this fresh direction, StepUp Wilmington has set a bolstered job goal, aiming to put 1,000 people into occupations over the next four years. In the 2016/17 fiscal year, Phoenix Hometown Hires placed 171 jobs.

Since 2013, Phoenix Hometown Hires has been actively collaborating with other StepUp member organizations in Raleigh, Greensboro and Durham. The Wilmington nonprofit officially became a part of the StepUp NC collaboration in January 2017, allowing it to learn from some of the state’s most successful nonprofits in the workforce development space.

The Phoenix Hometown Hires rebrand follows a long community history. The organization was originally founded in 2002 as Phoenix Employment Ministry and integrated Hometown Hires – a program under United Way of the Cape Fear Area –  into its operations in 2015.

As StepUp Wilmington, its mission will remain the same, with a focus on addressing unemployment, poverty and economic instability throughout the Cape Fear region. In addition, the organization will continue to be locally run, managed and funded. “By collaborating with top-notch workforce development organizations across the state, we will bring better programs to more people and place more people into better jobs,” said Will Rikard, Executive Director of StepUp Wilmington.

An event is being held at Live Oak Bank on January 31, 2018 from 5:30pm to 7pm to announce the re-branding and share the organization’s future goals. “StepUp Wilmington and Live Oak Bank have very similar missions – to provide people with the tools they need to live the American dream,” said Kate Groat, Live Oak Bank’s Director of Philanthropy. “The direct impact of helping someone find a job so they can provide financial stability for themselves and their family is extremely valuable. That’s exactly how you create a stronger, more vibrant community both economically and culturally.”

StepUp Wilmington is working with Bon’s Eye Marketing to develop its new logo and website. Look for more information to come over the next month at

For more information about StepUp Wilmington, visit or contact Will Rikard at (202) 957-4298 or  StepUp Wilmington is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

For more information about StepUp North Carolina, visit  StepUp North Carolina is a member-driven organization that provides a platform for communication, best practice sharing, standards, service provision, funding, strategic initiatives, and leveraging resources and promotion.