Church program prepares workers
Published 12:16 am Saturday, August 31, 2013
A work-readiness program beginning later this month will help people address the roots of unemployment through mentoring, interview practice and networking opportunities, among other features.
Jobs for Life is a national, Christian-based work readiness program that is being hosted by Hope for Suffolk, the community development initiative of Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, in partnership with the Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk.
Hayden Blythe, director of Hope for Suffolk at Westminster Church and course instructor, said the eight-week course “creates a sort of boot camp enthusiasm and energy for job seekers.”
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The course, she said, offers a “concentrated time of focusing on the skills required to find and excel at a job, all while surrounded by a team of mentors, community resources and businessmen and women who want to see the students succeed.”
Students practice interview skills, network and give presentations. They receive feedback from mentors and other students.
“By the end of the course, students have completed a resume that has been reviewed by professionals, completed a vocational plan that identifies their individual obstacles and a plan for overcoming them, completed a mock interview with an HR professional for a real job, and given multiple presentations to the whole class,” Blythe said.
After starting earlier this year, the next class begins Sept. 11. Free and open to the public, it runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays and Fridays. Registration is required.
“I have three students registered at this point,” Blythe said. “The last class had everything from a freshman in high school to someone with a master’s degree.
“We had people struggling in literacy, up to people quite literate but having been out of the workforce for a while,” she said. “It’s nice to cater to where people are.”
The ideal class size is 15, Blythe said, meaning anyone thinking about taking part still has a good chance of getting a spot.
Blythe, who leads the classes, is a teacher facilitating adult education courses.
Of 15 students who graduated from the previous Jobs for Life course on March 30, seven have obtained jobs, according to Blythe.
“One is working on her GED, one has become a licensed certified nursing assistant, and two are continuing with their high school education,” she added
Classes will be held at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, 3488 Godwin Blvd.