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.