Cornerstones’ Pathways to Sustainable Employment program is designed to fill a gap in workforce development and job training programs that do not serve the needs of job seekers in the Herndon/Reston area whose education and skill levels put them at a disadvantage in the workplace. While participating in the program, individuals are offered additional wrap-around care management supports to ensure they have access to the myriad of partner resources and services that can reduce the often multiple barriers to their employment and thus help individuals not just obtain, but maintain stability as they journey toward self-sufficiency.
The Pathways to Sustainable Employment program offers vulnerable residents an opportunity to help position themselves better for jobs in not just traditional, but new and growing employment sectors in the Dulles Corridor such as Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Healthcare and Social Assistance, and Accommodations and Food Services (Virginia Employment Commission 2015).
The program comprises a number of components:
- a 10-day, 30-hour employment-readiness or S.M.A.R.T. (Shared, Motivational, and Achievement Readiness Training) curriculum which teaches the “soft skills” clients need such as learning to set goals, create an employment/education plan, develop an “elevator speech,” compose a resume and cover letter, understand diversity in the workplace, learn interpersonal and conflict resolution skills to complement the “hard skills” such as computer literacy, ESL, GED, vocational training, certifications, licensures, or additional college education;
- twice-weekly, drop-in clinics where individuals receive assistance accessing and identifying tuition funding for employment skill building (WIOA, PELL, FANTIC, other scholarships), obtaining tuition when other sources of funding are unavailable, obtaining foreign degree certifications, completing career interest/skills assessments, creating resumes, identifying growth sectors in their areas of interest and applying for available positions within those sectors, accessing the professional expertise of volunteers who mentor clients;
- one-on-one employment counseling to help individuals identify appropriate employment opportunities and needed skill-building.
The Pathways to Sustainable Employment program operates out of Cornerstones’ Connections for Hope Partnership (C4HP) office in Herndon, VA: 1141 Elden Street, Suite 200, Herndon, VA 20170 (703-429-5000).
Interested in Pathways to Sustainable Employment Volunteer Opportunities? Click here.