Sarah and I have spent the last couple of braving the August heat and traveling across the city in search of job training partnerships. We saw sights of Phoenix we didn’t even know existed. Along the way we’ve talked to a former job trainer from Goodwill, Fresh Start, AWEE, WHEAT and Good Prospects.
Guess what? Starting a job training program can be intimidating! Thankfully, the experts were overflowing with ideas and excitement for our social enterprise project. We picked up a few nuggets of knowledge along the way that we wanted to pass along.
DON’T TRY AND REINVENT THE WHEEL
We are not in this fight alone! There are organizations in Phoenix that have been putting people to work for over thirty years. While Maggie’s Place does an excellent job at providing dignified housing to our guests, we are not experts in the Arizona job market. An employee at Good Prospects bluntly said, “Think what you can do that is close to your mission and let us do this for you.”You don’t have to tell us twice! We will gladly utilize the job training resources we have around The Valley. Arizona is blessed to have such a spirit of collaboration within its non-profit world.
REMEMBER THAT WE “AIM FOR CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT”
The wife of a Maggie’s Place board member who is a former trainer for Goodwill gave us this advice. Basically, it’s a good way of admitting that we’re not going to get everything right, and we’re going to constantly reevaluate and adapt. Sarah and I will cling to this positive phrase as we plunge headfirst into the unknown.
NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY
As I expressed doubts to the job trainers along the lines of “is this too much to ask of our moms?” we got a consistent answer: no. The best thing we can do in this professional setting is to hold the Maggie’s Thrift workers to the same standards that their future employers will. The relationships between volunteers and moms in the store will be much different that at the houses, but it will be for the benefit of the moms and the future of their newborns.
Thanks for supporting us on our new adventure. If you have any tips you would like to add, please feel free to comment.