“Everybody deserves a chance!” That’s the philosophy behind a new Fort Wayne company that helps job-challenged individuals become qualified for employment. A Chance Re-Employment and Training Agency, LLC, recently was launched by local entrepreneur Stephanie Martin, MBA, MHA, to fill a void she became aware of during her years of experience working in the mental health administration and workforce development fields.
A Chance Re-Employment (ACRE) assists individuals who are having a hard time finding a job. These individuals have one or more challenges that may be hindering their ability to find employment, such as a disability, an arrest record, a language barrier, and/or a lack of employment-ready skills. “ACRE will identify an individual’s needs and focus on building workplace skills so they can be employed,” according to Martin, who stresses that ACRE is not a staffing agency, but rather a training company that refers its clients to local employers and staffing firms.
“We assist individuals with occupational barriers to obtain workplace skills in preparation for securing suitable and sustainable employment,” she said. In addition to skill development services, ACRE also conducts career assessments, offers training in workplace etiquette, resume development, career planning, and provides outreach services such as onsite client visits, social service information and community referrals to help them achieve success in all aspects of their lives.
Clients who have graduated from ACRE’s training program will be referred to employers and staffing agencies offering positions appropriate to their skill sets. Job placement will be available for several industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, retail/food services, logistics, and professional services companies offering administrative and clerical positions.
In September, A Chance Re-Employment will be opening up an office in the Fort Wayne Enterprise Center, 1830 Wayne Trace. But in the meantime, individuals interested in working with Martin and her firm to build their workplace skills can schedule appointments through the online appointment app Calendly at calendly.com/achancereemployment.
Martin, a Fort Wayne native who is a graduate of Paul Harding High School, brings a wealth of experience and education to her new business. She holds master’s degrees in business administration and healthcare administration, and is currently pursuing a PhD in business administration with a concentration in organizational leadership. Her background includes helping to rehabilitate clients with disabilities for 10 years, assisting clients in becoming employed during her six years as a re-employment and eligibility coordinator for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and working in positions related to occupational therapy, speech therapy, gerontology, and psychology. She also is bilingual, being fluent in both English and Spanish.
Martin is a client of the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center, where she has worked with Business Advisors Nicole Heffelfinger and Mary Popovich toward launching her new business. She also credits various other individuals in the community who have helped her along the way. These include Trois Hart, Community Development Administrator for the City of Fort Wayne, who has served as her mentor, along with Vinnie Nix from Northeast Indiana Works; Andi Hines, who has provided inspiration and guidance through her Own Your Success women’s networking group; and Steve Franks, administrator of the local Farnsworth Fund, which provided Martin with a $1,000 grant along with connections and mentors to help her get ACRE off the ground.