Waynedale Political Commentaries


Looking over job postings on the “Wall of Opportunity”

I’m looking forward to attending the Annual Labor Day Picnic at Headwaters Park again this year (Monday, September 2nd, from 11AM to 3PM). It’s a big event; well over a thousand people come out for the free hot dogs and beverages and to hear some great jazz from our local Philharmonic musicians. It’s a community party to recognize the contributions of organized labor—just what Labor Day was named to celebrate. The Wayne Township Trustee Office always has a booth there where people can stop by to chat and learn about our services and activities.

The United States has the greatest and most productive labor force in the world. And that includes the thousands of Wayne Township clients who have gotten jobs through our office during my tenure as trustee. We have, from the beginning, focused on finding jobs for every able Wayne Township client. So far in 2019 over seventy-five of our clients have found new jobs in the workforce.

After I became trustee in 2007, my staff and I realized almost immediately that we would need to upgrade the township’s efforts to help clients find employment. At that time we established the Employment Training Center to focus on preparing clients for employment and assisting them with finding jobs. The only way we could move clients from assistance to independence was to help them find jobs.

The Employment Training Center is a partnership between our clients, our office and local employers. We all work together to help find employment opportunities. The clients step up and learn from the employment training classes we offer every Wednesday. These classes teach clients job interviewing skills, resume’ writing and proper dress for interviews and jobs. The Training Center assists clients with finding places to prepare for their GED or update their computer skills. We give clients job referrals and make them aware of job fairs, where they might find employment. They, then, do the leg work to follow up on those leads.

Wayne Township employees report to the Employment Training Center any jobs they know are available. We also make phone calls to businesses to identify which employers are hiring so that we can steer clients toward those employers. We review clients’ resumes and match their skills with employers looking for workers with those skills.

Just inside the door of our office is our “Wall of Opportunity.” This is where we posts notices of all the jobs we know are available. This wall is full of opportunities and many of our clients get job leads there. Anytime you walk past the “Wall of Opportunity” you will see clients looking over available jobs and taking down information about openings. This is a win-win for everyone. The clients move from assistance to independence, employers get good workers and tax money is saved when clients no longer require assistance with their rent, utilities or other basic necessities.

A job means more than self-sufficiency. I always enjoy seeing a former client come in to say that they’ve gotten a new job. The glow of their happiness and pride warms us all. To me this is the true meaning of the “dignity of labor,” and I am proud that Wayne Township plays a part in it.

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Richard A. Stevenson - Wayne Township Trustee

Wayne Township Trustee Rick Stevenson was elected Trustee in November of 2006 and took office in January of 2007. He is very passionate about helping those in need and considers it a privilege to be in a position to be able to help. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer