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December 17, 2009

Written by: Patty Kelly, Employment Director

Where is the crystal ball when I need it?  To try to even speculate what is around the corner for employment in 2010 is very difficult.  The so-called experts are split on their outlooks and forecasts.  There are articles saying it will be grim until 2011, others that report it could be even 3- 5 years before we experience real job recovery.  And then the more optimistic reports that focus on the small advances we have made in 2009.    I honestly don’t think anyone really knows what to expect.  And I feel if we completely focus on all the doom and gloom, I believe we will not move forward.  What we can do is to prepare Bridge client families to be more competitive when applying for jobs and getting that all important interview.

In looking over the past year, Bridge Communities has focused on helping clients reach goals that many of them never thought possible as far as education, training and employment.  I am really proud of how the client families are persevering and moving forward, even when their circumstances seem overwhelming.

Thirty-six client families have furthered their education towards Certificates, Associates and Bachelors degrees.  Some have reached the goal of graduating and getting jobs.  While others are still in school and when they graduate will be far ahead of where they were when they entered Bridge.

Eight client families are taking computer classes, ESL or preparing for their GED.

Thirty client families that entered Bridge unemployed or lost their job in the past year have found new jobs and are back out their working towards their goals.

I continue to help client families enroll in training programs for job interviewing techniques, job clubs and networking groups.  I also continue to work one-on-one with clients as they practice their interviewing and job search skills.  It is always a joy to get the call saying they were hired!

So in looking at 2010 the focus will continue to be getting people placed in the right college and courses, the right vocational training programs and the right jobs where there are opportunities to grow and learn.  All of this is done through the teamwork of mentors, clients and Bridge staff.  And without all the financial support of so many donors we would not be able to continue touching so many lives in such positive ways.  Thanks to all who are involved in whatever role you play for all you do.

Have a wonderful 2010 and our crystal ball says we will continue to see growth and success in our client families!!

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