NEWS

New Resource for Workforce Development at Union Mission

Danielle Jordan

Finding a job can be difficult when you’re homeless. Just gaining access to the most basic resources, such as email, can be an almost insurmountable barrier. Union Mission is working to help tear down those barriers by opening a new computer lab for use by homeless men and women seeking employment.

Regular computer access is crucial to employment success in our highly connected world. Not only are most applications submitted online, but individuals must also have regular access to email accounts to ensure responses are made in a timely manner.

“Employers no longer want paper applications,” said Union Mission Employment Coordinator, Crystal Thomas, “Everything is digitized, and we teach them how to do that.”

Union Mission clients working in the new computer lab

Photograph by Maggie Lynn

The new lab, complete with five computers and a printer, was funded through a generous grant from Wells Fargo. Clients will be able to build resumes, submit job applications, and create email accounts. Additional, the students of Union Mission’s Culinary Arts Program will be able to use the computers to take their ServSafe certification tests.  It’s multi-purpose space that employees and clients alike are excited to see arrive.

Volunteers will be a crucial part of the new computer lab’s success, helping clients to develop their resumes and apply for jobs. This volunteer support makes all the difference to those searching for jobs. Beyond assisting with resumes, volunteers provide encouragement to those still developing their employment skills.

“It makes them less discouraged when they walk out of these doors,” Thomas said.

In today’s dynamic job market, computer skills are crucial. With more volunteer support, Union Mission hopes to be able to expand the computer lab’s hours and provide classes to those in need of basic computer competency skills.

“It’s like the proverb—teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. We want to give you a skillset,” Thomas said.

 

Union Mission Resume Development Volunteer and clients at work in the new computer lab.

Photograph by Maggie Lynn

The addition of the computer lab is already making a difference. From finding employment to building greater computer literacy, the tools this new lab provides to homeless men and women will create both short and long-term change in their lives. Thanks to those who give generously to Union Mission, the new computer lab will benefit our community for years to come.

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