To enroll in Work Ready and other Project Place job training, it’s a must to commit to attendance and change. Some community members are looking to enroll, but have factors in their life preventing that commitment. To help with this, we offer Stabilization Programming Around Recovery and Resilience Coaching (SPARRC). SPARRC is a supportive and inclusive program that helps individuals build basic skills and find basic supports for stability. This includes recovery, mental health, securing basic needs, and more. We want to make sure individuals have a strong foundation to build, and succeed on, in our job training programs.
Skill Development: Work Ready
Learn job and life skills in the Project Place classroom and computer lab. Work Ready teaches the essentials needed to succeed in employment. In class, students will work on various assignments. Learning to create their own resumes, write cover letters, and search for job opportunities. They will also expand on basic life skills. Things like vocabulary, workplace communication, and math. Near the end of the course, there are opportunities to practice job interviewing and following-up with employers. In the computer lab, individuals will learn all about basic to intermediate computer skills which are critical to finding a job. Assignments and structured classes also help students to develop strong work ethics and time management skills.
Skill Development: Industry Internship Program (IIP)
To build on what was learned in Work Ready, the Industry Internship Program begins to narrow down a career track. There will still be universal training, training that can be applied to many careers, in topics like business fundamentals and customer service, but participants will also start to choose a path. Currently, we offer training towards jobs in transportation, vending, food service, customer service, custodial service, manufacturing, and more. The available paths offer a wide array of jobs. They were chosen because they are growing industries in Boston, have accessible entry-level positions, and opportunities for job advancement. Aligned with each track, Project Place is also able to offer national certifications that participants can test for.
Skill Development: Transitional Employment
Hands-on experience can be the most important part of training for a job. After receiving training, clients can be temporarily employed at one of our 3 businesses, called the Project Place Enterprises. The track you work towards in IIP will match up with the enterprises so clients have all the knowledge they need. The enterprises are especially great for individuals who have large gaps in work history or who have outdated skills. While employed, regular paychecks are also a valuable opportunity to begin saving up for large live purchases such as a deposit on housing. Employees of the enterprises can work in a safe environment, supervised by Project Place staff, without fear of failure.
Similar to case management, Career Services works with individuals throughout programming and beyond to help them find employment opportunities and develop connections to potential employers. The Career Services department throws monthly job fairs, inviting local employers to participate, and will also work with current clients to help them progress in their job search. Behind the scenes, Career Services works on updating and maintaining partnerships with local employers, scouting for new employment opportunities to pass on, and ensuring our training is the most relevant and beneficial curriculum to help secure a job.
During each phase of our programs, a case manager will be there to assist with one-on-one support. Case managers excel at securing resources on behalf of their client. They also focus on getting the support client’s need to succeed not just at programming, but in the long-term. When members first enroll, they will work their case manager to develop an Independent Development Plan that will help outline personal and professional goals as well as what steps need to be taken to reach them. From there, the plan grows with the client as they go through the programs, remaining flexible to adapt to what they need. Case managers will stay with clients throughout their stay at Project Place and beyond, for at least two years.
Project Place offers two housing programs and also provides assistance in securing outside housing opportunities. Staff works with clients to find housing openings and navigate housing applications. Staff also can help determine eligibility and needs to see which housing options best suit each client’s need. If clients decide to be employed in the enterprises, there is also an opportunity to begin saving up for deposits through the income they earn while working. Housing is a critical need that will greatly impact the stability of each client so it is a primary focus.
Alumni & Retention Services
We strive to be a positive and inviting community for our clients. After graduating from Project Place, we are in touch for at least 2 years. As alumni transition into their new jobs and housing, it can be a vulnerable time. We want graduates to have developed the skills and the confidence to sustain positive change long-term. We also use this opportunity to reach out for more connections. This can include enrichment workshops or new opportunities that might be helpful. We encourage those who have graduated to return to the community and many do! We have hired many graduates as staff members. Others give back by volunteering or using their new knowledge to help current clients.