Training Success at Open Door Community House

Training Success at Open Door Community House

Training Success at Open Door Community House

Circles in Columbus

A focus on the contributions of the African American family

BETTER WORK Columbus delivers Marketing Yourself training to clients of our non-profit partners upon request. This training gives students insight into the perspective of an employer and what matters to them during the hiring process. They leave this training more hopeful and with a new understanding of steps they can take to communicate well when they are looking for work. If you have clients who are preparing to look for better work opportunities in the Columbus area, they will benefit from this training. Send an email to kristin.barker@georgiaopportunity.org to schedule a training for your organization. 

Barbara Moushon, Circles Coordinator at Open Door Community House shares below why this program is helpful to Circles Leaders in training.

“We are very grateful for the Marketing Yourself training brought to our Circles Group here at Open Door Community House. Our group was very engaged with this presentation and they appreciated the information Kristin and Inez shared. They are still talking about this training. The topic of ‘What Employers Want’ explained to our group why it is so important to stop and really reflect when preparing for an interview. This information explained that the interviewee needs to analyze why an employer would want to select them.  The concept of knowing themselves and what they really want before going into an interview was a powerful message. Our clients understood that they need to spend a little time in self-reflection prior to seeking a job.” –Barbara Moushon

 

Finding Focus and Direction with Better Work

Finding Focus and Direction with Better Work

Finding Focus and Direction with Better Work

graphic design intern

Finding Skilled and Teachable Talent

 

BETTER WORK is helping our neighbors find better work opportunities in Columbus. We care about facilitating life transformation and not only an initial job connection. We want local families to thrive, become self-sufficient, and find the dignity that comes from sustainable work. Good relationships play a huge role in this process. This is why open doors of opportunity and mentors are so important.

I want to share a story with you. This is the story of a young woman who was unsure of what she wanted to do. Rachel Guzman first reached out to BETTER WORK because she knew she wanted more, only she wasn’t sure what more was.

Today Rachel has greater focus and is finding her success! All she needed was others who believed in her to clear the way. She is performing well in a Graphic Design internship with Alexis M. Creative. Owner Alexis Lott recently shared the statement below.

“Finding Rachel and having her as a virtual digital assistant this year has changed my business for the better. Being a small business owner trying to run my digital marketing and coaching business by myself was exhausting. I knew that I had to make a move, and I was initially scared to hire someone as an intern, and finding Rachel was a true god-send. She graciously decided to work as an intern and within months I was able to hire her on a contract basis to help with my digital marketing needs.”

 

Rachel

“Finding Rachel and having her as a virtual digital assistant this year has changed my business for the better. Being a small business owner trying to run my digital marketing and coaching business by myself was exhausting. I knew that I had to make a move, and I was initially scared to hire someone as an intern, and finding Rachel was a true god-send. She graciously decided to work as an intern and within months I was able to hire her on a contract basis to help with my digital marketing needs.”

 

“I would love to have her full time hopefully in 2022 as my business expands. I am forever grateful to you (BETTER WORK Columbus) for helping me find skilled and teachable talent!”

Rachel has also been working with her mentor, Renee Lambert. Renee works with Rachel to help her overcome obstacles like insufficient transportation and is helping Rachel as she considers her long-term goals and short-term options to reach those goals. Rachel shared early on that she feels hopeful because of the support she receives from Renee. These obstacles may limit Rachel’s work options right now, but they aren’t slowing her down.

Rachel recently stated how much the internship means to her when she shared, “My internship at Alexis M. Creative Agency has been a great learning experience. To me, it’s not just an internship but an opportunity to learn and grow as a freelancer and entrepreneur.”

Candidates like Rachel Guzman have more hope because of partners like you. Whether you are an employer opening your door to give people second chances, a service provider offering needed resources, or a mentor cheering someone along their journey, your impact changes lives through BETTER WORK Columbus.

The Power of Community Connections

The Power of Community Connections

The Power of Community Connections

A belief in working together is key

 

BETTER WORK Columbus is connected with groups and organizations across the Chattahoochee Valley. These groups include both the Chattahoochee Valley Poverty Reduction Coalition (CVPRC) and the Mayor’s Commission on Reentry. A belief in working together in the local community as the key to eliminating poverty in our city is the common thread binding these groups together.  More specifically, the CVPRC holds a shared vision to reduce the poverty rate in the Chattahoochee Valley by 50% over the next 10 years.

BETTER WORK Program Manager, Kristin Barker, plays a leadership role in both of these groups. As forthcoming chair of the Reentry Commission, she works to identify key people in our community and bring them together to address the needs and concerns that impact individuals who are justice-involved. This is necessary to further the mission of preventing recidivism by strengthening cooperation and collaboration between law enforcement agencies, corrections and supervision entities, resource agencies, social service and non-profit organizations, faith-based non-profit organizations, community members, and other private and public stakeholders. Embedded in the group’s purpose is a focus on finding key people in the community and bringing them together to address the needs and concerns that impact individuals who are justice-involved.

 

The Success Sequence provides an outline of how to reverse the cycle of poverty in our communities. GCO uses this as a framework for much of our work.

Local Connections and National Partnerships

It is these local connections and national partnerships like Jobs for Life that will allow Columbus to discover the high-impact strategies needed to support families in poverty and connect them with resources that will move them toward self-sufficiency.

Find more information about the Chattahoochee Valley Poverty Reduction Coalition and the Mayor’s Commission on Reentry online.

Money Can’t Replace Meaning and Purpose

Money Can’t Replace Meaning and Purpose

Money Can’t Replace Meaning and Purpose

American poverty

Work has intrinsic value

Last month, I had the honor of participating in the Heritage Foundation’s annual Antipoverty Forum, where scholars and practitioners discussed the state of poverty in the country and the local efforts to confront the issue.

The discussion this year centered on the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better (BBB) bill that is now making its way through Congress and the ways in which the bill would undermine work by using much of its $2.4 trillion to expand safety net benefits and create new entitlements, all while eliminating work requirements.

Despite unemployment numbers dropping nearly to pre-pandemic lows in most states, what is not widely understood is that labor force participation (the number of people who are able to work and are actively looking for work) is much lower than when the pandemic began. Some 4-5 million people have effectively dropped out of the workforce – at least for now – despite record job openings (10.4 million in September).

While the drop in workforce numbers is partially explained by fear of COVID and mothers forced to stay home with children, much of it can only be explained as being caused by increased benefits (and the elimination of many requirements for qualifying), rescue-related payments and, now, monthly child tax credit payments. The BBB bill is very likely to make these trends and others, like inflation, worse.

Although we’re concerned that people are choosing not to work and agree that more money coming from Washington, DC, will make matters worse, my remarks reflected our concern at GCO about why worklessness harms the individual. Work is not merely about earning money; it has intrinsic value.

 

The Success Sequence provides an outline of how to reverse the cycle of poverty in our communities. GCO uses this as a framework for much of our work.

Championing a return to normalcy and healthy social interaction

Work provides each of us with an outlet for our God-given talents and creativity. It allows us to serve others and contribute to other individuals’ well-being in exchange for having our own needs met. More than that, it provides us with social capital and a network of colleagues and friends who can help us when we need it. Much research has also shown that worklessness leads to poor mental and physical health and can contribute to increased drug and alcohol abuse – the 100,000+ overdose deaths during the pandemic representing the latest example.

As our government wrestles with how to deal with the pandemic and sets its priorities, it should avoid anything that discourages employment and causes more isolation. For individual and societal health on every front, the government should be championing a return to normalcy and healthy social interaction – including at work – that allows the American people to be resilient during times of crisis.

Partnerships and Building Blocks Come Together in Columbus

Partnerships and Building Blocks Come Together in Columbus

Partnerships and Building Blocks Come Together in Columbus

Building a stronger network of resources

On November 4th, BETTER WORK Columbus hosted a reception to announce a new partnership with Jobs for Life to bring its proven curriculum and a nationally recognized program to help struggling people find meaningful, self-supporting work. During the event, Ryan Ray, President and CEO of Jobs for Life, shared his heart as well as the passion behind the Jobs for Life training program and the power it has to impact lives in a transformative way.

Problem:

In Columbus, 11,406 people are unemployed, despite more than 6,500 job openings. The problem is not an issue of availability but an issue of access. There are personal, educational, and systemic barriers that prevent some of our neighbors from working or thriving at their jobs. Without work, many begin to identify themselves with their circumstances which creates a vicious cycle of poverty—economically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Solution:

Our BETTER WORK Columbus team has already built a strong network of partnerships and has been using the Jobs for Life framework to recruit and train mentors. Now, we want to take this a step further by extending the network of support to Jobs for Life training sites in our community.

Our BETTER WORK Network has allied with Jobs for Life to help break the cycle of poverty and build up our communities. JFL sites are uniquely positioned to address the root causes of un- and under-employment by uniting churches, businesses, and community organizations and facilitating positive transformation within lives and communities. This model reinforces work as more than just a paycheck but a source of pride and dignity. It is designed to address the loss of identity which often accompanies unemployment.

We will join hands and work together to bring the change our community needs.

How can we work together?

It starts here! We will join hands and work together to bring the change our community needs.

If you live in the Columbus area, we need your help! You can: 

  • Champion a student through mentoring, 
  • help us with recruitment, 
  • hire a graduate, 
  • or simply celebrate with us. 

 

You may also choose to donate by giving online

Then send an email to kristin.barker@georgiaopportunity.org to have your gift support local Jobs for Life classes. Include your name and the subject line – “I donated to the BETTER WORK Network and Jobs for Life”.

BETTER Work Network is Growing in Columbus

BETTER Work Network is Growing in Columbus

BETTER Work Network is Growing in Columbus

A Network of Partners is Growing in Columbus

Columbus, Georgia has over 11,000 citizens identifying as unemployed, but the number of available jobs is over 6,000.  What’s the problem? Why are so many people not working?

Kristin Barker serves as the program manager for BETTER WORK Columbus, and provides insight as to why there’s limited job access in the area.

Through growing partnerships in Columbus, the BETTER WORK Network will meet the needs of people where it will have the most impact – in their neighborhoods. One of our partners, Jobs for Life, will utilize their sites to help address the underlying issues creating unemployment.

We know that satisfying work has the ability to restore dignity, build communities, and reduce crime.

We are excited to see so many people working together for the good of helping people.

 

The BETTER WORK Network will meet the needs of people where it will have the most impact – in their neighborhoods.