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    High-Life Assistant Director
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    Director of Children's Ministry
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Jobs for Life: Partnership and a Story of Hope


It is hard to believe that we are preparing for our 3rd Jobs for Life class in partnership with The CornerStone Initiative and Westside Church beginning fall of 2017! When I think about the best way to communicate the impact of Jobs for Life on our church members, the students, and the local business community, I think stories might be the most powerful tool. So I wanted to share just one story with you.

Chris came to Jobs for Life last fall following his release from prison. While his work history prior to prison was great, the felony record meant that his application usually went to the bottom of the stack or was dismissed by most employers. Having recently relocated to Alabama, Chris did not have a lot of connections in the community, which further challenged his job search.

He was paired with a champion and attended every single Jobs for Life class, turning in every homework assignment on time. It was clear that Chris was an incredibly motivated individual with a strong work ethic, so it was very frustrating to hear how many times he was turned down for jobs just because of a prior record. Each Jobs for Life class holds two business round tables, during which time business owners or leaders in the community share about their company expectations and work environment. During the first business round table, one of the local business owners approached Chris and said he should apply with her company. His champion also encouraged him to apply with the company, saying it might be a great fit with upward mobility options. However, Chris was convinced it wouldn’t work, and for two weeks he gave reasons why that job application would be a dead-end.

His champion mentioned this to me and said Chris might just need a little extra encouragement. So I walked over and said, “Hey! Alana told me she really wants you to apply with her company. She liked your questions and your demeanor in class, and she thinks you might be a great fit with her company.” Five minutes later his champion came over and said “Chris is going to apply with Alana’s company! What did you say?!”

“The same thing you’ve been saying,” I said, “but sometimes it just takes time and lots of encouragement for someone to step out when they’ve been rejected so many times.”

Today Chris has moved up into a management position with the company, and Alana will tell you he is one her best employees.

So where would you like to serve with Jobs for Life?! Would you like to be a champion like Chris’, serving as an encouragement and support for someone working through employment challenges? Would you like to serve on our prayer team supporting our whole class behind the scenes in a powerful way? Maybe you want to join our business network so that, like Alana, you can help someone find a job that fits their skills and not only blesses the student but their employer also. Whatever you decide, we have a place for you in Jobs for Life!

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To learn more about Jobs for Life and the specifics of our class this fall, please join us Wednesday, May 10, 7-8pm at the Lodge!