JOBS PARTNERSHIP MISSION AND PURPOSE STATEMENT
Mission Statement: Jobs Partnership exists to provide employment training and services to the chronically unemployed and underemployed, including those who are transitioning out of incarceration into productive citizenship.
Jobs Partnership operates on two fronts. There is a program that targets the unemployed and underemployed in local communities and neighborhoods and there is a program that operates within the correctional system helping individuals transition out of incarceration.
In the community the program session is 12 weeks with one class taught each week. Each class in the community sessions is taught by someone different. Professionals from many different walks of life teach classes that coincide with their particular area of strength. Pastors, attorneys, business owners, school administrators and government leaders all participate as instructors and mentors to the students. This not only allows students access to great instructor/practitioners but also gives them contacts with community leaders that can act as advocates for them when they seek employment. In the community classes we also partner with the local community colleges that provide instruction in interviewing and resume preparation. Because of this partnership with the local community colleges there are two college credits that are given to students that successfully graduate from the program. In Peoria, Illinois where we currently have a community program we partner with the tech classes at the South Side Mission (culinary program, hospitality services program) and we have a network of employers that support the program by offering interviews and job opportunities to those who successfully complete the program. We have also introduced the program into the Bloomington Illinois Community where we are developing similar networks.
In the correctional system Jobs Partnership takes a three pronged approach to comprehensive reentry that helps the transitioning individual connect to healthy networks that will support faith and family reconciliation, addiction recovery and reentry back into the workforce. The first prong begins while the individual is still incarcerated and consists of a twelve week faith based class that teaches both the value of the individual from God’s point of view and the character qualities needed to become employed and advance in a career. In this first part of the program an individual connects or reconnects to his/her faith base and begins the process of becoming a valued employee. The second prong of the program occurs upon release. An individual is connected to a Jobs Partnership program in the area (or we refer to similar programs if Jobs Partnership is not available in the community they are released into) that in turn connects them to our church network and mentoring programs for transitioning ex-offenders and their families. In this part of the program we begin to reconnect or create positive family and community networks that will provide emotional support for the individual, encourage family reunification, and connect them with addiction treatment or other needed social services. We also offer housing in our Jobs Partnership Independent Living Home for female ex -offenders upon release who have graduated successfully from the Jobs Partnership program. The third prong is the connection to our employer/education network where possible employment connections can be made. The employers in this network are aware of the challenging background of our clients and are willing to provide a second chance to individuals who have successfully completed the employment training. It is also in this part of the program that we explore the possibilities for further education for the clients that show interest in that endeavor.
The program is called Jobs Partnership for a reason. It is through our partnerships that we establish the networks that make our clients successful. In our education network we partner with community colleges, universities, and local school districts. Our church networks consist of churches from many different denominations and traditions. Our employment network is diverse in both size and function. We have employment partners in small ma and pa businesses and in large corporations like Target and State Farm. Each network partner is important to the success of this important work that makes change possible for transitioning ex-offenders and the loved ones that depend on them.