Social Worker Stories: Putting More PEP in Our Step
Bread for the City’s Pre-Employment Program is stepping up to the next level. We are so excited about the new cycle for PEP!
The PEP team took into account that everyone looking for work is not experiencing the same challenges. Program participants come from all walks of life and work experience. Some have little to no work experience, and some have enough to need just a helping hand in finding the right job or training. After looking at our program and its participants, we now have three different tiers designed to help everyone reach their employment goals.
We’ve made tremendous strides in making sure that our community is aware of our Pre-Employment Program. In the last year, the PEP team attended community events, held information sessions, and attended community-based meetings to get the word out. As a result, 154 people signed up for the PEP program in the last 6 months, and we continue to receive calls and walk-ins every day.
The PEP program started 14 years ago as a 6 week life skills/job readiness program to help Bread for the City participants develop the skills necessary to secure and retain employment. We added an internship program in November 2013, for for PEP graduates needing work experience. The current program expanded to a 3-tier, 12 week job readiness and work-based learning program. PEP not only includes the life skills/job readiness instruction, but also one-on-one Employment Case Management, Work-Based Learning and, a “HIRE” page on the BFC website. The “HIRE” page will allow employers to review the work experience of our PEP participants in hopes of offering them employment.
We are so excited to introduce this expansion to the PEP program. The expansion has given us a chance to have our Alumni and Bread for the City Volunteers participate in the PEP experience. Our Work-Based Learning tier gives the interns a chance to work and receive on-the-job training, as well as gain classroom knowledge about the foundations and structures of a non-profit.
PEP is looking forward to extending some of these services to the Bread for the City clients in our Northwest Center as we continue to expand and add more programs for our new Southeast Job Center next year.
PEP is stepping up!!