Job program refocuses to help parents

Goodwill Industries to hold career workshops

January 28, 1999|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,SUN STAFF

A charity's program to educate city schoolchildren about the importance of choosing a career has discovered that the children's unemployed parents need help first.

"They didn't know about community resources, what social services were available, where to get resume help, how to find jobs," said Lisa Rusyniak, vice president of marketing, Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Inc.

Goodwill will scrap the children's project and sponsor three Job Connections fairs for parents of school-aged children in poor areas in East Baltimore. If successful, the program will expand.

Several years ago, Goodwill helped needy schoolchildren with donations of shoes in "Shoes for School." That led to Goodwill's Career Awareness Day in schools, where staff members noted the parents' need for work.

In November, a Goodwill survey of 15 city principals found that the parents often called schools for help for themselves.

"We recognized the more immediate need of the parents and began the new program," said Marge Thomas, Goodwill president.

"We found in working with people unemployed for a while that they were eager to get jobs, but they lacked self-esteem. We think Job Connections will help move them into jobs, build their self-esteem and thereby create better self-esteem in their children."

The Job Connection workshops on life skills management, career counseling, resume preparation and job searches will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 4, at Cecil Elementary School, 2000 Cecil Ave.

Other fairs will be held Feb. 11 at Harford Heights Elementary School, 1919 N. Broadway, and Feb. 25 at Collington Square Elementary School, 1409 N. Collington Ave.

No advance registration is required -- parents are urged to walk in and get help. Those needing further aid might get it at Goodwill offices at 1809 Ashland Ave.

Goodwill counselors will inform them about social services programs that can help them find and hold a job, and get job training, more education and help with reading skills.

Goodwill, 4001 Southwestern Blvd., said it helped 752 people get permanent jobs and another 454 get temporary jobs last year. Their pay averaged more than $7 an hour. The federal minimum wage is $5.15.

The agency aims to do better this year: permanent, full-time work for 1,200 and part-time jobs for 500.

Pub Date: 1/28/99

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