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Vol. 14, No. 33, February 18, 2002

Vocation At Work

Norm Johnson
Norm Johnson

Norm Johnson is Chairperson of Vocation at Work, which gives Rotarians an opportunity to provide assistance to Hopelink in support of their Pre-Employment Education sessions.

“This is a program that teaches the ‘soft skills’ necessary for a person to enter, or in some cases re-enter, the work force,” Norm observed. “It’s a series of 13 two-hour sessions held on a once-a-week basis for a three-month period. The lesson plans have been developed and the sessions led by Hopelink’s Family Development Specialists (FDS).”

Each Specialist works with 20 families to move them over the hurdles that stand between Welfare and work. This covers everything from housing, food, and clothing to childcare and self-management. There are six people working in the FDS role at Hopelink. This represents 120 families that have commenced the journey from Welfare to work.

This year’s major BBRC grant goes to Hopelink to fund 50% of an FDS with the goal of having 10 families placed in full time employment. It was interesting to note that 70% of the people being served in the program are single, head-of-house females.

Hopelink has opportunities for service in four areas:

  1. Provide mentorship and leadership to support the FDS efforts in the classroom.
  2. Class sessions will cover the following topics on the indicated dates:

    Pre-Employment Ongoing Training Dates
    Through September 2002

      March 1 - Transitioning out of Community Jobs

      March 15 - Self Care

      March 29 - Household Management

      April 12 - Professionalism

      April 26 - Goal Setting

      May 17 (late) - Time Management

      May 31 - Problem Solving

      June 14 - Conflict Management (2)

      June 28 - Conflict Management (3) UW Recruiter

      July 12 - Resume’ building

      July 26 - Job Search

      August 9 - Interview Skills (1)

      August 23 - Interview Skills (2)

      September 6 - Interview Skills (3)

    Note: After the September 6th meeting, the curriculum cycle begins again.

  3. Provide expertise and support to FDS efforts in the classroom by providing short presentations related to meeting topic and offer suggestions and input during group discussions. If members are also interested in coming to the meetings and conducting a Q & A session relevant to job search, interviews, expectations on the job, or other work related topics that would be great as well.
  4. Participate in mock interview sessions with participants.
  5. As can be seen from the class schedule three of the sessions are directed toward interviewing skills. Again, these sessions are designed to improve the “soft skills” of the participant, so the important thing is to provide feedback and counseling on how the interview process works and how to actually overcome the jitters associated with an interview.

  6. Provide Internships for actual hands on work experience.
  7. The Intern Program allows a person to work twenty hours per week on the job. The remaining twenty hours are spent at Hopelink in class sessions and other tasks directed by the FDS to improve a client’s skills. Jobs are normally expected to entry level and the term of the internship is a minimum of six months and no longer than nine months. The wages paid to the intern are the responsibility of Hopelink

    Hopelink will provide pre-volunteer training for the participating Rotarians so we don’t go into it cold. There does not appear to be a limit on how many of us can participate. Everyone is welcome. The benefits of this type of service will give results for years.

The first of two volunteer training sessions for BBRC members is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13th, at the Hopelink offices, located at 16225 N.E. 87th Street in Redmond.

Norm Johnson
Chairman, Vocation at Work
Ph 425-462-8088