Ada — Individuals, organizations and businesses interested in supporting, becoming involved in or just finding out more about a new job skills training program in Ada are invited to an informational meeting.
The meeting will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13 in the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center on the Campus of East Central University. Lunch will be provided.
Please RSVP for the meeting by sending an email to AdaJobsForLife@gmail.com or calling Ed Poblete at 580 272 3996 or Pat Fountain at 580 559 5270 by noon on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
In partnership with Compassion Outreach Center, ECU’s Enactus Team, a student organization in the Stonecipher School of Business, has recently conducted an 8 week Job’s for Life (JFL) program. Project leader Corrynn Franklin, a Business Administration major and 8 year Navy Veteran, has led the effort so far and plans to continue to do so. Compassion Outreach Center Director Ed Poblete has worked closely with Franklin and her team and believes this program is something needed in the Ada Area. The project is developing into a new arm of the Compassion Outreach Center program that will complement what is already being done in providing medical and other services to those in need.
“Jobs for life is an incredible, Christ-centered curriculum to help unemployed and underemployed individuals find meaningful work,” said Franklin. “The goal is to help people gain employment that will allow them to feed and take care of themselves and their families. This program is definitely a hand up and not a hand out.”
Enactus is a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to enable human progress. Enactus students apply business concepts to develop community outreach projects, transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. Dr. Pat Fountain, Professor of Business Administration, is the ECU group’s advisor.
Last October the Enactus team visited with Poblete who, unbeknownst to them, had been wanting to start a JFL program in Ada for several years. After the conversation the students applied for, and received, a $1500 grant from Walmart through the Enactus organization as a part of the “Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment Project Partnership.” Already Franklin and her team of Jamie Eason, Flor Martinez, Megan Miller and Elizabeth Clift have invested over 150 man hours as the first class of students near the completion of the program. The class started with 8 members and is now down to 25% of that number as some participants found jobs and some moved out of Ada.
Those that complete a JFL program will have focused training and support in basic workplace principles. The goal of Jobs for Life is to improve employment outcomes and, across the nation, the program has done this. According to the Jobs for Life organization the 16 lesson program and accompanying support results in increases in employment and job retention rates increase as well as improvements in work-related skills and increased confidence from experience and knowledge gained. Many program graduates seek additional training or are plugged in to future opportunities. The program also helps participants identify and overcome the root causes that keep them from obtaining and retaining employment.
In the most successful Jobs for Life programs local churches and community based organizations are involved in implementing the training. Because of this, program participants experience an extraordinary sense of community during JFL training classes not found in other job training programs. It is through this community that course participants receive the encouragement and support they need not only to effectively achieve the course requirements but also ensure the student can be successful long after the course is completed.
For this reason Poblete, Franklin, Fountain and the others involved believe that for the program to reach its full potential it will take community members and community organizations involved as supporters, advisors, instructors, mentors and volunteers. Those who are interested in seeing this program succeed are encouraged to attend the informational meeting. For more information please send an email to AdaJobsForLife@gmail.com or contact Poblete or Fountain. For more information about the Walmart Women’s Economic Empowerment project, please visit: www.walmartempowerswomen.org. You can also friend Ada Jobs for Life on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AdaJobsForLife.