New Winter Garden Class

The first of four new LifeWorks training sites is underway at Orange Technical College’s Winter Garden campus. Part of the Expansion Plan to double sites in Orange County by Spring 2020 to eight total, the class is supported by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and Mosaic Church.

Yvette Desrosiers-Alphonse, JP Site Coordinator, works with the church partners to recruit volunteers and coordinate the class. As a member of St. Luke’s, she sees LifeWorks as a “great marriage of meeting a community need and meeting a strategic plan initiative to take the church into the community.”

Lee Grande, volunteer Head Coach for the class, says that there is a 1:1 ratio between students and volunteer coaches. She notes that the commitment from the coaches has been remarkable, and they’re spending extensive time outside of the classroom to help their students.

Lee also notes that these students are particularly strong and will have great opportunities. Most have some type of job, but want to move up or into another industry. The class is giving them the strategies, including how to overcome age barriers for some. As a former senior HR executive, Lee says the Life portion of the class is lifting people up and the LifeWorks Career Fair, which brings business partners and JP job seekers together, is a unique and intimate opportunity. She adds that both are unusual compared to what goes on in the marketplace.

Longtime volunteer, advocate and JP Board member, Dorathy Nevitt is the Team Leader for the class and a member of St. Luke’s. She is Director of Human Resources at Orlando World Center Marriott and brings that experience to the class as she manages the LifeWorks curriculum instructors and keeps the intensive class flowing.

As a new volunteer, Kim Hsu shares, “I believe the greatest value we provide is to surround the students with people who believe in them and encourage them in their journeys. I love seeing the students grow in confidence throughout the program as they learn more about who they were created to be and gain the skills they need to move forward in their careers.”

Jason Marberry is a veteran coach and returned to serve the Winter Garden class. When asked what he would tell anyone interested in the experience, he replied, “it is a great way to give back in a very meaningful and impactful way and I think every volunteer I have spoken with has learned unexpected things through the program. The Winter Garden location has been filled with warm conversations, learning and fellowship.”

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

presentation by President Marc Stanakis at Faith That Works 2019 Breakfast

The Problem

“These are the best of times…and these are the worst of times.”

How many of you remember that opening line in a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens?

That certainly describes the current state of our world, on so many different levels. Did you see the article in the Wall Street Journal several weeks ago? This is the hottest labor market in 50 years, and Orlando is leading the charge. The Department of Labor reported last October that for the first time, there were more job openings than candidates to fill them.

These are the best of times…

And at the same time, the United Way of Florida reports that 47% of households in Orange County don’t make enough money to pay the bills – over 220,000 FAMILIES. And if that wasn’t bad enough, about 2/3 of the families in this situation are qualified for public assistance. They are working and need a handout to close the gap.

These are the worst of times…

Addressing the Problem

You might be asking yourselves why are so many people stuck in low paying jobs and struggling to survive? What we have learned over the last 20 years is that the zip code you were born in has a lot to do with it. Or maybe life happened, and you can’t do the same work anymore or you’ve lost everything. In either case, you start to believe the lies about your situation and hope for anything better is beyond your reach.

It’s a soft skills problem.

The other challenge is not having a helpful network of relationships. When you are struggling to survive, you need someone outside of your situation who can help you think through the challenges and cheer you on. And despite all the great technology we have access to, the best way to find a job is from someone you know who recommends you to an employer. Relationships…some things never change.

We have also learned that temporary assistance doesn’t solve the problem. God made us all with unique gifts and abilities that can be used to produce income, and when we do that, we find fulfillment in our purpose. WORK IS THE MOST STRATEGIC SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.  

The Solution

That’s why our LifeWorks training is transforming our community, one life at a time, like Javier’s. Our church and business partners are mobilizing teams of volunteers to offer an integrated solution that focuses on soft-skills development and career planning, along with connections to helpful relationships through our network of partners.

Local pastors teach the Life portion of the training using a biblically-based curriculum to change negative attitudes and beliefs. Topics include how to build healthy relationships with your boss and co-workers, conflict resolution, and showing up on time. HR professionals from our network of employers and the GOSHRM chapter facilitate the career planning components which include a career assessment, interviewing skills and a resume. Armed with a written career plan, we connect the participants to our network of partners so they can get a job or go back to school for more training, with the help of Career Advisors from CareerSource Central Florida.

The Opportunity

In 1999, we got our start in the Workforce 2020 project at the Orlando Chamber. The name of the project was a reference to research done by the Hudson Institute in which they predicted a massive worker shortage that peaks in the year 2020, when the greatest number of baby-boomers start retiring. When you link that issue with the booming economy, job creation at a fifty-year high, and the documented skills gap, we are sitting on the edge of an incredible window of opportunity to equip families in our community to leave poverty behind.

That’s why our board launched an expansion plan several years ago to scale our LifeWorks program from four to eight training sites in Orange County. Last month we added a new site in Winter Garden at Orange Technical College and will add three more sites in February 2020. The proposed new sites include the ACE Academy in Parramore, the John Bridges Community Center in Apopka, and the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.

Through our formal partnership with CareerSource, we will measure success by number of job placements and short-term training certifications in the targeted high growth industry sectors in Central Florida. Did you know that 1 out of 3 job vacancies require a training certificate? For instance, you can earn a certificate in advanced manufacturing at Valencia after 12 weeks of training and get placed in a full-time job with benefits at Lockheed Martin making $18 an hour – that’s a game changer. The same types of opportunities exist in healthcare, construction, hospitality and logistics.

Changing lives is hard work and it doesn’t happen overnight…or with a handout. It takes an investment of time, resources and relationships to alter the course of someone’s life. That’s why we have formed partnerships with churches, businesses, schools, social service and government agencies. No entity on their own can solve this problem, but together we can have collective impact for greater and sustainable outcomes.

Employment Technologies Equips Participants with #1 Ranked Tool

 

When it comes to preparing for their future careers, LifeWorks participants have a big advantage – Employment Technologies and virtual simulation testing. The company’s award-winning Virtual Customer Simulation helps students gain an awareness of their skill strengths and empowers them for career success.

According to Joseph Sefcik, president and founder of the company, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management ranks simulation as the #1 tool to accurately predict future job performance because it focuses on specific job competencies versus general traits. Employers have been saying for years that their biggest concern in potential employees is not a lack of basic job skills, but rather, a lack of soft skills like problem solving, communication and decision making.

Using high-end graphics and a compelling storyline, Virtual Customer Simulation immerses LifeWorks participants in a series of realistic workplace situations. The simulation assesses three skill areas – problem solving, interpersonal effectiveness and conscientiousness, providing feedback to leverage students’ strengths. Joseph calls the simulation a ‘disruptive model’ because it focuses on objective competencies that can be enhanced, rather than relying on self-ratings based on personality traits that tend to remain static.

Angela Stromberg, JP Partner Liaison, says that Virtual Customer Simulation has universal application to all jobs across all industries. This is one of the reasons it has been so successful for participants. Built into the 12-week LifeWorks training curriculum, the simulation results are reviewed in class, giving a greater awareness of skill strength. A Career Prescription is also part of the package, outlining specific learning activities that allow students to practice and improve behaviors to help them in future careers.

Jobs Partnership is also excited about the latest tool that was rolled out this session – EASyView virtual interview practice. Students can use their smartphones to record a job interview and get real time feedback. This can be shared with their volunteer coaches who will provide feedback and help.

Joseph Sefcik is an entrepreneur with a passion for workforce development. Thirty years ago, equipped with a Master’s in Industrial Psychology and a focus on employee selection and evaluation, he began his research into workforce skills. With a desire to see students successfully transition into career fields, Joseph believed there was a better model than the existing standard. He sought one that would provide information people could use to better themselves and chart a better path. The result was the creation of the #1 ranked employment assessment tool and other virtual products that are used by Fortune 500 and smaller companies located throughout North America and internationally.

Employment Technologies has been a valued partner with Lifeworks by Jobs Partnership for eight years. This generous partnership equips LifeWorks participants with the industry’s latest technology for improving their skills, enhancing their confidence, and expanding their career opportunities.

Javier’s Story

To learn more about LifeWorks by Jobs Partnership and apply for the program, please visit https://www.jobspartnership.org/lifeworks/apply/

“Jobs Partnership is a mighty instrument and vessel of hope for all those who enter into the love and care of this family because it’s so much more than an organization.”

Javier, 26 years old, newly married and living in Orlando for less than a year after relocating from Newark, N.J. was struggling to find a full-time job. He was also struggling with deeper issues like manhood because he had grown up fatherless and  his life’s purpose as he was battling with depression and crippling anxiety, not knowing where his life was headed.

One day, he was scrolling through Indeed for jobs and came across a resources link and that’s where he found the Jobs Partnership website. “As I browsed the site I thought to myself this is too good to be true – a program that develops life skills, work skills, develops Christian character, and bridges the gap of employment for those in need and all of that FREE of charge.” So, he applied for the LifeWorks training program. He was uncertain and frustrated about being an adult and having to admit that he needed help to figure out life. He finished the intensive 12-week program, completing life and career assessments, homework, reading material, mock interviews and much more. He discovered skills and passion and the importance of glorifying God through work. At the LifeWorks graduation ceremony, Javier received a Star Student award and gave a speech (after being asked to fill in for a singer who had cancelled). The speech changed the course of his life!

During the LifeWorks training, he had gained some skills and confidence and was promoted from a part-time entry level store associate at Walgreens to a full-time certified pharmacy technician in the corporate office. But, it did not end there. Sitting in the audience at graduation was the owner of a software company who was so impressed with Javier’s graduation speech and attitude that he reached out to hire him. Javier is now working full time with full benefits at a higher wage and a career path with a successful company, just one month after graduating from the LifeWorks program.

To prospective students, Javier says, “Most of us come to Jobs Partnership for a job, education, or opportunity to advance. When we leave, we leave with so much more. We leave with a restored vision and hope for a new start at life.”

To potential supporters, he has a message, “When you invest into Jobs Partnership, you’re investing into the future of our families, communities, society, and culture at large not just by introducing new employees to our workforce but rather by introducing holistic men and women into the fabric of our everyday lives. When you consider giving, think about how a 12-week program can have an impact on a family 12 years from now when a graduate is better able to provide for their family and the world around them. Your generosity may change the course of an individual’s life just as mine was changed by someone willing to invest in Jobs Partnership.”

To learn more about LifeWorks by Jobs Partnership and apply for the program, please visit https://www.jobspartnership.org/lifeworks/apply/

Paul Del Favero – 2011 LifeWorks Graduate

 

Paul grew up in South Florida when crack cocaine made its debut in the 1980’s. Years earlier, his father had introduced Paul to the art of the deal and handed him a bag of crack to sell and make some money.

That launched Paul into middle school and a series of encounters with law enforcement. At the peak of his early “career,” a Sun Sentinel story named Paul as Broward County’s “Worst of the Worst,” which led to incarceration at age 20. Eighteen years later, Paul was released back into a world where technology had exploded, and he was faced with finding his first real job.

He wound up in Central Florida and mistakenly wandered into First Presbyterian Church, looking for a support group to help him make this transition. That’s when he learned about the LifeWorks training offered by Jobs Partnership. The LifeWorks training gave him the tools and resources he needed to start his life over at 38. The relationships he developed with the volunteers helped him navigate this new world of work and made Orlando feel like home. It brought restoration. “I was already walking with the Lord, but this put it in context; they gave me the tool box to put all the pieces together,” said Paul. Through one of JP’s Employer Partners, he was hired full time with benefits at an insurance company and received promotions and raises. Several years later, his JP mentor told him about a company that rehabs sewage pipes for municipalities and he got a new job with lots of opportunity to grow.

Paul is now a manager overseeing 35 people and equipment valued at $20 million; last year he made over six figures. He got his company involved with Jobs Partnership and Paul the JP Graduate is now Paul the JP Employer Partner, recruiting JP candidates and “hiring folks just like me,” he proudly says. Paul is married now and recently purchased his first home – “Life is exponentially better than I ever imagined!”

Fabian Tamayo – 2006 LifeWorks Graduate

 

By age 19, Fabian knew that there was no future for him in his native Venezuela. He saw the writing on the wall after several years of change in his country under the leadership of Hugo Chavez.

Coming from a broken family, Fabian always dreamed about a better life and raising a family of his own, but those dreams seemed impossible in a country that was unraveling. Recognizing he had a window of opportunity to pursue freedom, he headed to the United States on a visa to pursue higher education and was overwhelmed by the peace and prosperity he observed.

In 2003, he got married and started the immigration process to become a US citizen. In the years that followed, Fabian started working at any job that he could find while learning to master the English language. Working part-time at a restaurant on Orange Blossom Trail, he happened to overhear two pastors he was serving talking about the LifeWorks training at Jobs Partnership. Their church was hosting an upcoming class and the more he eavesdropped, he finally found the courage to ask them about the program. Fabian had quickly realized that he needed to learn how to navigate in this new country and had recently prayed that God would show him how to do that – this was the answer to his prayer.

Fast forward, the LifeWorks training helped Fabian grow in his faith and also find a full-time job through JP’s network of Employer Partners. Still on that job 12 years later, he and his wife have three children and they bought a new home in Clermont, where they are active in their church. Fabian’s dream has come true!

Sharon Parker – 2007 LifeWorks Graduate

 

At the tender age of nine, family members began abusing Sharon and robbed her of her youth. At twelve she started drinking to forget, which led to a full-blown alcohol and drug addiction by the age of 21. Along the way, she had her first of four children at sixteen, coupled with a string of unhealthy relationships and frequent visits to drug treatment programs.

Sharon would disappear for weeks at a time, leaving her children under the care of her mom and sister. The low point came while living in a crack house and she asked God to rescue her from this destructive lifestyle. It was soon after that dark moment that a friend invited her to church at Agape Temple, where Pastor Earl Madison encouraged her to enroll in the LifeWorks training at Jobs Partnership. Throughout her years of struggle, amazingly, Sharon was able to find employment, so when her Pastor suggested JP, she thought to herself “what are they going to do, help with my resume? What good is that if I can’t keep the job?”

Sharon started attending the class and during the biblical lesson on Forgiveness, Pastor Outing crumbled up a $20 bill, stomped on it, and asked her if she still wanted that $20. With a resounding yes, he told her that she was just like the $20 bill – she still had value and that she needed to forgive the people that hurt her as a little girl. Freed from the guilt and shame she had carried for years, and with the help of her JP mentors and the career planning in the class, Sharon was able to pursue her passion for helping other women who had similar experiences to her and restore her relationship with her children. “I have to be the change I want for my family and I have to love me if I want to love others.”

After several years of working in health care, Sharon now works at the Jobs Partnership recruiting participants for the LifeWorks training and helping them overcome the barriers that keep them from pursing the life and work they were made for.

How to Turn Your Passion into a Career

According to a Deloitte study on passion at work, only 12 percent of the workforce enjoys what they do for a living. As more and more employees admit to settling for or staying at jobs they dislike simply because it pays the bills, the idea of turning a passion into a career seems like an unattainable fantasy. While it would be nice to love what you do for a living, it can be difficult to manifest or even know where to start. Here are some steps to help you get started in turning your passion into a career.

Find Your Passion

Before quitting your current job to pursue your passion, you must first determine what your passion is. Start by making a list of:

  • Things you love doing
  • Things you are good at doing
  • Things you get excited or enthusiastic about
  • Companies, products, or services you enjoy

Research Your Passion

Go online or visit your local library to research in-demand professions and job trends. Doing so may enlighten you to potential career options that you never knew existed. Once you have narrowed your options down to a few career avenues that relate to your passions, research what job qualifications or certifications those employment opportunities require.

Test Your Passion

To ensure your passion of choice can successfully translate into a career, you may first need to give it a test drive. Cross-reference your newly discovered career for any current job openings in your area. You may have to start by volunteering, interning, or scheduling part-time employment around your current job. If you can make it work and see yourself excelling both personally and professionally in a position that you’re passionate about, then perhaps you’re ready to take a leap of faith and change careers.

Work for Your Passion

The popular quote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” is a little misleading. Sure, turning your passion into a career that generates sustainable income may be a more fulfilling option than working your life away for someone else. But, make no mistake, to achieve your goal you will have to put in a lot of work. If you’re feeling stuck or unfulfilled at your current job and desire a rewarding, passionate career, Jobs Partnership can help you work toward a solution.

Get Help Pursuing Your Passion

Often the key to getting unstuck is letting others show you the way out. Our LifeWorks training program allows you to work with a team of coaches and mentors who can help guide you through the process of discovering the job you were made for. If you’d like to learn about some of the most in-demand career fields that may align with your passion, please call Jobs Partnership today at 407-641-0755.

Intangible Benefits That Make a Job Rewarding

When searching for jobs, many people disqualify opportunities based upon the job responsibilities required or benefit packages offered by the position. In doing so, they may be overlooking the multitude of intangible benefits that each job opening may offer. Intangible benefits are those that turn work into a healthy, fun, and rewarding experience. Here are a few examples of intangible job benefits that you should look for when hunting for a job.

Examples of intangible benefits include:

  • Autonomy – An autonomous workplace is a micromanagement-free work environment that is based on trust. Workplace autonomy encourages productivity, creativity, and passion by allowing employees to manage their own workflow or giving them the option to telecommute by working remotely from home or at a coffee shop.
  • Employee Recognition – Having your hard work recognized through an Employee of the Month program can mean the world to a struggling worker. Not only does it provide them with a sense of pride and possibly a pay increase, but it also validates their abilities, self-worth, and value to the company.
  • Healthy Work Culture – Employees are an investment. A calm, wellness-focused work environment reassures employees that their physical and mental health is important to their employers. Look for companies that offer wellness classes or an in-house gym.
  • Advancement Opportunities – Employees want to work for a company they can grow with. After all, a job with no opportunity for advancement is not a career. Look for jobs that offer upward mobility through promotions, bonuses, and incentives, and promote long-term goals, a growth mindset, and the ability to master new skills.
  • Work-Life Balance – Schedule flexibility allows employees the opportunity to budget their time and productivity speed at work so that they don’t miss out on important events in their personal life.

These intangible benefits can mean the difference between having just another job and having a job that you love. If you are unsatisfied with your current job and are searching for more fulfilling and rewarding work, Jobs Partnership can help.

Get the Benefits You Deserve

Our goal at Jobs Partnership is to help people discover the career they were made for through our free and innovative 12-week LifeWorks training program. Our coaches and volunteers will get you on a path toward personal and professional success by enhancing your resume, improving your interview skills, and connecting you to the right people, resources, and employers. Call us at 407-641-0755 or apply here to get started.

Ways to Start a Successful Business

The freedom that comes with being your own boss is a dream of many. However, starting your own business is no easy task. In fact, there are many cautionary tales of over-ambitious entrepreneurs whose start-ups crashed-and-burned because they were not built on a solid foundation for success. To achieve your dream, you must follow these steps for starting a successful business.

Innovate Your Idea

A strong business idea does not guarantee success. Determine what sets you apart from the competition and how your idea adds value to the marketplace. The key isn’t to invent something new, but to make something simpler, better, or more convenient. Pay attention to what is trending and try to improve a service or product that already exists.

Make Your Sacrifice

Starting your own business requires a lot of time, sacrifice, and sweat equity. To be successful, you must first be willing to work hard and pay your dues at another company. There you can develop your skills, gain experience, and learn how to build a sustainable business while saving capital for your future venture. You must also live modestly to fund your business. This means limiting spending and sacrificing vacations, fancy dinners, and other big purchases.

Assemble Your Team

In order to increase your business’ odds of success, it’s important for you to assemble a team of skilled employees who share your vision for your company. Each member of your team must also embrace the other keys for success by sacrificing their time and working hard to accomplish team goals.

Build Your Network

Dedicate time each month to networking with other professionals in your field. A strong network of like-minded associates and fellow entrepreneurs can help you make wise business decisions and play a crucial role in expanding your business and opening up doors to increase revenue.

Sell Your Idea

To get your business up and running, you will most likely require funding. You must be able to convincingly sell your business idea to potential investors. Practice your sales pitch until you are comfortable delivering it to one executive or a room full of investors.

Discover Your Path

Jobs Partnership can help get you on a path to turning your passion into a career that allows you to be your own boss, create your own schedule, and work with positive people. Our LifeWorks program uses various Central Florida community connections to help people discover the career they were meant for. If you’re ready to begin your journey to a career, give us a call at 407-641-0755.