Tuesday, April 12, 2016

You're hired! Catholic Charities partners with local employers for on-site interviews

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Monarc CEO John Bellingham interviews a prospective hire.
The line outside of our Spanish Catholic Center on a cold December morning formed several hours before the doors would open. Today was a special day – our Michael H. Kappaz Workforce Development Program was hosting a hiring event with Monarc Construction, where they would be conducting interviews on-site.

All morning and into the early afternoon, potential employees moved through a series of interviews with hiring managers and even Monarc Construction President John Bellingham himself. Others patiently waited, their resumes protected neatly.

By the end of the day, more than 100 men and women had gone through the interview process.

Interviews took place all morning.
Months later, the same space would be filled with hiring managers from CVS and clients from various Catholic Charities programs. Dressed in their business best, 20 men and women listened intently to the CVS hiring managers as they explained company culture, described positions available, and fielded questions. The hiring managers also explained the type of candidate CVS is looking for: someone with a smile who is willing to learn.

Down the hall, Pre-Apprenticeship Green Construction Program students looked over their notes and textbooks as they waited to conduct mock interviews with the CVS hiring managers. Albeit a different field of work, the construction students are set to graduate in a few short weeks and need all the practice they can get with interviewing. Catholic Charities’ partnerships with companies, both local and nationally, expose clients to resources that would not normally be available to them.
CVS staff lead a hiring seminar giving our clients tips for
applying to work at their company.

This is what the Michael H. Kappaz Workforce Development Program hopes to do for thousands of DC and Maryland residents who need employment. Named for the late Michael H. Kappaz, a longtime benefactor of the Spanish Catholic Center who deeply believed in the power of employment and opportunity to change lives, his legacy lives on today.

From hands-on job training to wraparound supports to job search support and placement, the program aims to be a one-stop shop for employment. A major component of that program, however, is the partnerships we have with local employers ready to take on a good employee who is eager to work.

That’s where Susana Marino comes in. As Manager of Workforce Development, her job is to make that connection between employee and employer, making the final link from unemployment to self-sufficient.

“Developing and sustaining solid partnerships with employers is the lifeline of the Kappaz Program,” said Marino.  “We try to pay attention to employers wants and needs and forecast, develop and align the skills of our students to the needs of the market.”