At this time of year, I always am concerned about those in our community who cannot provide their families, especially their children, with the Christmas celebration they would like to give them. All the ads on television and the displays in the stores create an image of Christmas that many persons cannot meet.
I grew up in a family of eleven children and know what it’s like to have limited resources. Even those children who are blessed to live in loving homes have a difficult time understanding sometimes why they cannot have a particular gift or a big turkey dinner at Christmas.
At the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office, we do our best to help families in need at Christmas. We work with the Christmas Bureau in providing gifts for our client families. Our office chooses a family to adopt, and we help that family by getting gifts for all the family members.
But, we know that the best gift we can give to our clients is to help them find a job so they can support themselves and their families. Our Employment Training Center continues to work with our clients throughout the year to assist them to eliminate barriers to employment and help them find jobs.
When a client receives assistance from our office, we try to identify immediately the barriers that client has to finding a job. One of the biggest barriers our clients face is lack of a high school diploma. We encourage our clients to get their GEDs, and we refer them to programs that will help them get their GEDs.
Another barrier to employment is not having a resume and not knowing how to prepare one. For those clients who need help with their resumes, we refer them either to Work One or Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) for instruction in resume writing. We have learned that having a resume is helpful even if an employer requires an on-line application. The client can fill out the on-line application quickly and efficiently when he or she can refer to the information in his or her resume.
We also require all clients able to work to attend Wednesday job training classes. Many of our clients have never been taught how to dress or how to conduct themselves in job interviews. We try to help them learn these skills. Some of the Wednesday classes focus on maintaining good health or on interpersonal relations in the workplace so clients can maintain a job once they get one.
We often ask clients in the Wednesday job training classes to share with each other about their job search experiences and to encourage each other. Prior to the classes, my staff tries to identify employers who are hiring and gives clients referrals for those positions. Our clients are required to return two job referrals to our office each week that they are receiving assistance to show that they are looking for employment.
The job market is tight and obtaining a job in a tight market, especially if you don’t have a college degree, can be challenging. Our clients often get very discouraged, as anyone would, when they have tried and tried and have been unable to find a job. Part of our job here at the Trustee’s Office is to help our clients stay energized to continue their job search.
The job market is slowly improving making finding a job a little easier. I would like to invite employers to contact me at 449-7000 if you have a job available, and we will refer clients to you for interviews. Getting a client a job not only helps move that client move from assistance to independence, but helps our community as a whole by having a good, solid workforce.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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