The Career Training and Education Center is restoring hope and confidence to the residents of City Mission. Eleven residents attended local job fairs in the past month. One resident has already landed a job, and nine total interviews have come out of the job fairs so far.
“We try to help our folks understand that they have value and deserve a good job,” said Steven Nicholas, Director of the Training & Career Program at City Mission. “There is hope. It’s just about finding the right place for them, and we’re here to help them get to the next place they need to be.”
From criminal records to sporadic employment history, many residents come to City Mission feeling un-hirable. “We’re helping them bridge that gap,” Nicholas explained. “We’re here to remove those barriers and to help each individual be confident in their own value and to realize that they’ve earned that chance to interview for a job.”
Nicholas and his staff have been preparing residents for the job fair by building resumes, conducting mock interviews, setting goals and objectives, and coaching them for job readiness. “The Career Center really prepares residents to step back into the workforce. The job fair was a culmination of all their hard work,” said Brian, a current resident at City Mission who attended the job fair and is now part of the Career Center team. “The Career Center helps us focus on our strengths and highlight our skill sets and the positive aspects of our character.”
Before attending the job fair, each resident was encouraged to set goals for what they hoped to accomplish that day. Some were actively seeking interviews, others were gaining experience talking with employers, and some were just trying to overcome social anxieties. “From all the coaching and preparation, the residents had the tools they needed to deal with the anxiety of approaching prospective employers,” Brian explained. “Approaching that fear and conquering it gives them more confidence in their lives in general.”
Nicholas hopes that every resident learned from their experience at the job fair. “I hope they all learned the importance of being prepared, having an updated resume, dressing for success, and setting goals and objectives. I want them to walk in with value and present themselves confidently.”
The work that the Career Center has done and will continue to do is an important part of helping our residents return to sustainable, independent living. “I want them to learn to accept wins and losses, Nicholas said. “If the results are good or bad, it’s all positive in the end. We need to learn how to handle success and how to move on from rejection.”