Jobs Partnership Volunteers Discover What They Were Made For
One of the biggest questions in our lives is “What were we made for?” This is a question that Jobs Partnership Volunteers are answering, through their hands-on, personal work with individuals in our community. Volunteers are a critical part of Jobs Partnership’s mission to give chronically underemployed men and women the opportunity to achieve their full potential in the workplace and in life through an innovative training process called LifeWorks. The unique course features both practical and Biblical teaching that transforms the head and heart. Students are taught by seasoned, volunteer Instructors and are paired with volunteer Coaches who are a support to them throughout the course.
“When you get to your low, you’re low. What I was doing wasn’t working, so something had to change,” says LifeWorks Graduate Sharian McKinney. “At that point in my life, I needed all the help and tools I could get, because by myself, I couldn’t do it.” With the help of the LifeWorks Training and dedicated Volunteers, Sharian completed the course. “When I walked through Graduation I had such pride, and then thought, ‘Can I not still show up on Tuesdays and Thursdays?’”
“Each person I see make that transformation, I can feel I’ve helped in some way. It just wants to make me do more,” says Dr. Barbara McLean-Smith, referring to the personal motivation and encouragement she receives as a volunteer LifeWorks Head Coach and Instructor. “A lot of people come and have either been misguided, misinformed or miseducated as to what values in life are all about. And to be able to give that without pushing, it’s an ‘A-ha’ moment for not only the participant but the trainer, the mentor, the coach as well.”
Volunteers are truly the lifeblood of Jobs Partnership’s LifeWorks course. Through many volunteer opportunities, whether it’s coaching, assisting during an event like the Resource Fair, or one-time opportunities, talented individuals have the chance to not only give back, but to connect with and serve others in a highly personal way.
“The Jobs Partnership is one of the only organizations I know of that bring many people together, from many different backgrounds, to reach out and help somebody else,” Volunteer Team Leader Tom Lovett says. “Our Coaches, our Volunteers are not on their own when they volunteer, they always have a partner. So even if they’re new, they can partner with someone who’s been there, who has the experience to help them along the way.”
The Jobs Partnership works with all Volunteers to provide hands-on and in-depth training, ensuring they’re equipped to help the Students in the LifeWorks course. As they both go through the 12-week course, Students and Coaches form a bond. Not only do the Coaches and Instructors learn about the Students’ struggles but they also learn about their passions and what drives them. They walk alongside them and build relationships that often last longer than just the LifeWorks course.
“I grow every time I’m able to go into my tool box and take something out that they gave me. I think that just makes me grow, I can’t help it,” Sharian continues. “I never once thought of bringing God into the workplace, and now I deal with customers and problems so differently, and with a different grace...and I got that because of the tools The Jobs Partnership gave me through the LifeWorks class.”
“To those people interested at all in doing something in the community, I would say that The Jobs Partnership is the perfect organization to take a look at,” concludes Tom Lovett. “I can’t say I’ve met anyone who said they were sorry, once they got involved with Jobs Partnership, that they ever came to observe a class. In fact, most of those folks end up volunteering because they see how easy it is.”