This week’s gathering in Detroit, Michigan, epitomized the aim of the WorkLab Network: One year after launching their programs in the Sustainable Workforce Model, the first cohort of network members convened to share their discoveries, innovations and moments of failing forward with WorkLab’s newest members.
The new cohort brings together Towards Employment in Cleveland, Ohio; The Way to Work in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Northern Virginia Family Service. Each site will launch a new program partnering with local employers to provide their employees with an innovative benefit of community resource navigation.
Towards Employment has over 40 years experience helping people get a job, keep a job and advance in a career. By pursuing a holistic approach that supports people throughout the whole of their career pathway, Towards Employment creates a talent pipeline for local businesses. Their work strengthens the community as a whole while helping individuals achieve self-sufficiency through employment.
The Way to Work is an earned income venture that helps participants achieve and maintain employment, housing, financial and family stability. Their career counselors work with individuals to identify issues that cause employment conflicts both with the employee and the supervisor and overcome barriers to employment. They’ve also provided more than 300 employers throughout Louisiana with training to better understand the needs of their workforce.
Since 1996, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) has trained more than 2,200 people from diverse backgrounds and experience. Within six months of graduation, 72% of trainees secure full-time employment in an office environment with an average 80% wage increase. NVFS also provides post-hire support, coaching clients in their new roles to help them grow and succeed.
As new members of the network, these organizations will benefit from the founding members’ 35+ years of experience running the Sustainable Workforce Model. As they launch new programs across the country, each member’s unique approach to the model informs the network as a whole.
New members learn firsthand from the people who paved the way before them, while experienced members are inspired to rethink their approach as new members test different methods and introduce new ideas. Through this collaborative network, the model improves as it grows and stays agile, rapidly adapting to changes in the economy, policies and business needs.