Friday, May 22, 2015

Rave Reviews: What local employers say about our JOBS program

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Our JOBS Program was started to try and solve one of the biggest issues facing those who are chronically homeless: unemployment or maintaining employment. JOBS (Jobs and Other Basic Skills) takes the traditional job training program and goes one step further by placing most of its graduates into full or part-time work with employers after completion. 


The employers who we partner with, many of whom started with us at the very beginning, are the lifeblood of the program. Program Manager Mark Harrison recently received several letters back with glowing praise for the program from some of our employers as part of his quarterly check-ins. 

"I wanted to take this time to send a note celebrating our partnership. Over the last year you have referred several strong candidates...from those referrals we have made hires of new associates. Our partnership has grown into a very strong one." ~ BB&T Bank

"We are very pleased with your referrals that we have hired on a full-time basis, and with the others that have worked on an as needed basis." ~Ridgewells Catering

"Proof of Mark's efforts is the constant contact he maintains with us to ensure the employee/employer match is the right fit. It is good to know we are working with someone who cares about the long term goal and just about placing an individual." ~Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc.

Before placement in a job, the students must first complete the class. The class is an intensive five-week program, Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 4 pm. The schedule is maintained strictly to start to drive home the importance of punctuality. But rather than teach a single job skill, the class focuses on addressing each person's history, past work experiences as well as some of the challenges which have led to job failure in the past. 

"I'd say just as important as the skills we teach is the time we spend breaking down each person and helping build them up right," said program manager Mark Harrison. "A lot of our people are carrying baggage with them that can lead to very negative reactions to typical workplace interactions. There's a lot of success for us when we help work past that." 

Are you looking to give back to the community and help make your business stronger through new hires? Consider partnering with our JOBS Program.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

2015 Homeless Point in Time Survey Released

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The 2015 Homeless Point in Time survey was just released locally from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. This is the best effort each year to capture and count the number of adults, children, and families who do not have secure, ongoing housing.

For those who are interested in the issue of homelessness in our community, this is always a must-read document: http://www.mwcog.org/uploads/pub-documents/oV5bWls20150513103051.pdf

The data from the report comes from a Point In Time Survey, a method that involves hundreds of volunteers heading out to find as many individuals and families who are homeless or staying in temporary shelter to conduct a short survey. This survey always happens on a cold night, when many more people might choose to head to a shelter.

You can read some of the local coverage and reporting from these links: