Professional training makes a difference in our community
It’s great to see things come back to some semblance of normal as we emerge from the COVID fog. We are seeing our communities come back to life as more and more people are vaccinated. Businesses across town are dusting off the grime of 2020, opening their doors, and looking forward to a busy and profitable summer season.
But for many families, it may not be an easy adjustment to come back to life like it was before COVID. Low-income families faced many additional hardships during the pandemic, which took its toll. According to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, low-income families suffered more job losses, food insecurity and psychological distress during the pandemic than high-income families. It is no wonder that people are looking to create a better and more stable future for themselves and their children.
This is where the Job Skills for New Careers program comes in, to bridge the educational gap and provide a path to a career. A collaborative program between the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, the Community Services League, the Mid-Continent Public Library, KC Scholars and the University of Central Missouri, Job Skills for New Careers offers low-income adults the opportunity to acquire new skills in a very profitable field and in high demand at no cost.
We currently offer six training opportunities: medical coding and billing, welding, certified nurse’s aide, phlebotomy, construction and handling. So in just a few weeks or months, adult learners can be fully trained and ready to start working. In addition to acquiring skills in their future profession, all interns receive individual support in personal finance, labor relations and problem solving, preparing them for professional and personal success. Plans are already underway for additional training tracks to build the program and meet the needs of the community.
They say it takes a village. In this case, it took 44 fund holders to the Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Understanding the impact that such a comprehensive program could have, these donors have chosen to pool their donations, totaling $ 125,000, to support the Job Skills for New Careers program. This generous funding will support current program efforts and help expand the program to encompass a more diverse range of career opportunities.
This program works. We launched it at the start of the pandemic, and despite this headwind in 2020, the program’s graduation rate was 78%, well above the industry standard for workforce development programs. of work. Imagine what the classes in 2021 will achieve!
If you or someone you know is interested in getting out of a dead end job and embarking on a career with a real future, or if you are an employer looking for well-trained candidates to fill your vacancies, contact Debby at the Career Department. League Department of Community Services at 816-912-4487 or [email protected] Together, with caring donors from eastern Jackson County and surrounding communities, we will improve the economic situation for individuals and families and provide businesses with the qualified candidates they need to succeed.
Phil Hanson is the President and CEO of the Independence-based Truman Heartland Community Foundation.